Military Injury Claims

Defective Equipment Claims

Being a member of the armed forces comes with a unique set of risks, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect that you're provided with the equipment to protect you and to do your job properly.

If you've suffered an injury because of defective military equipment, then our solicitors could help you claim compensation through a civil case, in addition to anything you may have received through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).

Our lawyers have previously secured compensation for military personnel who were issued with the following pieces of defective equipment:

  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Transport - including land vehicles
  • Aircraft - including component parts
  • Combat body armour
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) - including facemasks or ear defenders
  • Diving equipment
  • Parachutes
  • Heavy machinery
  • Ladders

The consequences of defective equipment in a combat situation can be tragic. We have experience helping service personnel or their loved ones claim, if faulty equipment (or a lack of equipment) has caused or contributed to their injuries.

A number of our solicitors who handle defective military equipment claims are former armed forces personnel themselves. Among our experts is Paul Harrington – a former Ammunition Technical Officer who brings specialist knowledge to cases involving defective ammunition. We have a proven track record in establishing that faulty equipment or a lack of training has caused an injury.

If you have any questions about claiming compensation, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online and we'll get back to you.

No Win No Fee*
Our defective military equipment cases featured in the Chilcot Inquiry
Bringing claims against the MoD and defence manufacturers since 1987
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Defective Equipment Claims - More Information
    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there's no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI), this may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you're already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • What's The Claims Process?
    • To make a compensation claim for a military injury or illness, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free initial consultation. We'll discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident or illness, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

      The claim will begin by sending a formal letter of claim to the Ministry of Defence. After this, the claim will usually follow the same four stages:

      1.Investigation. We'll begin by determining the extent of your injuries, and the losses they may result in. This will involve obtaining copies of your military medical notes, and any civilian hospitals you've received treatment at. We'll also need a copy of your Armed Forces Compensation Scheme file, and your personnel file.

      The MoD will undertake an investigation, which usually starts by contacting your unit to confirm details of your accident, and obtain any relevant paperwork. They may also speak to any of your colleagues who were present at the time of the accident, and can provide witness evidence.

      2.Rehabilitation. If you have any medical care or support needs, we'll help you to access the necessary treatment and advice.

      3.Compensation. We'll work out how much compensation you should get based on the severity of your injuries and your pain and suffering, any medical expenses you've had and your ability to get back to work. We'll put this amount to the MoD, and they can either accept liability or contest the claim.

      4.Resolution. If the MoD accepts blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, court proceedings will begin.

      We will try to settle your claim on the best terms, considering options in addition to bringing court proceedings. The MoD should also do the same, as they are obliged to as a branch of government.

      Starting proceedings doesn't mean that your claim will definitely go to trial. Instead, it means that the court take over the management of you case, setting strict timetables for the exchange of documents, witness evidence and expert reports. If you do have to go to court, we'll be there to support you every step of the way.

      If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact us today on 0800 022 3321 for your free initial consultation.


    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • You generally need to make a compensation claim within three years of the date of your injury or illness.

      If you were under 18 at the time, then you'll have three years from the date of your 18th birthday to make a claim.

      There's no limit when the individual can't manage their legal affairs because of mental incapacity; this often applies to brain injury claims.

      In fatal cases, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim, starting from the date your loved one died.

      If you have any questions or concerns, contact us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation on your case, and we'll be happy to help.

       


    • Will Claiming Impact My Career?
    • No. The MoD understands that they ask service personnel to do a difficult job in dangerous situations and unfortunately accidents do happen. They recognise and respect the individual's right to bring a legal claim for injuries. Claiming won't affect your entitlement to a pension, either.

      The Ministry of Defence should not discriminate against personnel who bring compensation claims after an injury. If you're planning on continuing your service career after your claim, then there are very strict rules about discriminating against someone on this basis.

    • Meet The Experts
    • Our military injury team have been helping service men and women claim against the MoD since 1987. The team includes several former military personnel, and includes:

      • Geraldine McCool, who was described as the “Military Master” by The Lawyer. Geraldine is secretary of The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group and heads our specialist military injury team.
      • Paul Harrington, who completed an operational tour in Northern Ireland as a Bomb Disposal Operator. Paul brings his expertise as a former Ammunition Technical Officer and specialises in claims involving equipment, weapons, munitions and training accidents.
      • Simon Harrington, who has over 15 years of experience bringing claims against the MoD. Simon specialises in cold injury claims, having helped hundreds of service personnel to claim over £10 million in compensation for their injuries.
      • Andrew Buckham, who served in the Army for seven years before joining Irwin Mitchell. Andrew specialises in claims relating to serious and fatal injuries. He is also a trustee for the Defence Medical Welfare Service

      Meet our military injury team.

Getting the support from Irwin Mitchell with my adapted house has given me the encouragement and independence I needed to get out there and find other things I am interested in."

Ray Lowrie
Ray Lowrie

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Claim Compensation For Defective Equipment?

If you've been injured because of defective equipment, you could claim compensation. You could also claim compensation on behalf of a loved one who has died (or who now lacks mental capacity as a result of their injuries).

There are a number of circumstances in which our lawyers have helped service personnel and their families, including:

  • Equipment malfunctions
  • Inadequate equipment, for example offering too little protection for a particular situation
  • Insufficient training in the use of equipment
  • Equipment not being made available when needed

We've represented clients who have been injured in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Canada, Germany and Kenya, but making a claim certainly isn't affected by where an accident occurred. You could be able to claim whether you were in a training accident in the UK or overseas, or while on tour.

Defective equipment is often grounds to overturn the defence of combat immunity, which the Ministry of Defence sometimes uses to prevent it being sued for injuries sustained in combat situations. The MoD could be responsible for your injuries while you were in combat if they were caused by faulty equipment – find out more about how combat immunity can affect a claim.

You normally have three years to claim compensation, from the date the injury happened. In cases where a loved one has lost mental capacity, there is no time limit for claiming.

If you're unsure whether or not you'll be able to make a claim, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation. We'll discuss your accident, and offer our expert advice about your options.

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What Kind Of Injuries Can I Claim Compensation For?

We've helped service personnel claim compensation for a number of different injuries caused by defective military equipment. These range from recoverable conditions like broken bones to long-term and permanent conditions such as deafness, loss of limb and psychological damage.

Tragically, defective equipment can also result in fatal injuries, and we have helped families claim compensation in these situations too.

You could be able to claim compensation for injuries that took place during combat, in training, or while on tour – provided that the injury was caused by defective equipment, or a lack of training in how to use it properly.

The type and severity of your injury can play a large role in how much compensation you can claim for, particularly if it's serious enough to lead to a military discharge. When calculating a settlement, we'll take the following things into account:

  • Your age, rank and specialism
  • Your condition, and its severity
  • Psychological trauma
  • Medical expenses you've had to pay, as well as travel expenses to any appointments
  • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
  • Modifications to your home
  • Mobility aids
  • Your pain and suffering

    We'll also make sure that the loss of the following types of income/benefit are taken into account:

  • Service earnings
  • Pension contributions or resettlement grant
  • Commitment bonuses
  • Specialist pay and allowances
  • Service benefits, including loss of subsidised quarters and Learning Credits

If you'd like to find out more about making a defective equipment claim, contact us on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation. We'll discuss your situation, and offer our advice on your options.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Defective Military Equipment Claim?

A number of our military solicitors are former service personnel themselves, so we completely understand the concerns that you may have about making a compensation claim for an injury caused by defective equipment.

Among our armed forces experts is a former Ammunition Technical Officer, bringing specialist knowledge to cases involving defective ammunition.

We have a proven track record in making compensation claims against the Ministry of Defence, and have been involved in a number of landmark military cases, including establishing that a helicopter should be classified as work equipment for its passengers and crew. We have also run cases on the lack of enhanced body armour, which has led to it becoming standard personal protective equipment (PPE) as a result.

Bringing a claim against the MoD can be a daunting prospect, and it helps to have the experts on your side. There are strict rules against discriminating against service personnel who make compensation claims, and any settlement we secure will come out of a special MoD budget rather than affecting your unit.

We pride ourselves on being a full service law firm, and offer ongoing support to our clients after a claim has ended. In addition to handling your claim, we can help through a number of our personal legal services, providing support with:

  • Buying or selling a house
  • Divorce, children and family matters
  • Employment difficulties
  • Financial planning including tax and trusts
  • Wills, trust and probate services

If you have any questions or concerns about making a claim, and how we can help, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation. Our solicitors will discuss your case with you, and offer their expert advice on your options.

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Awards and Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Royal British Legion

 

We're proud to be part of The Royal British Legion Solicitor's Group


Our Armed Forces Expertise

Since 1987, our specialist military injury team has helped hundreds of injured personnel from the Army, RAF and Royal Navy to claim compensation. We are considered one of the top law firms in the country for military claims and several cases we were involved in were recently featured in the Chilcot Inquiry.

We work closely with a number of Armed Forces welfare branches and organisations, and are the PAX appointed legal representatives under the PAX Personal Accident Insurance Scheme. We're also proud supporters of:

  • The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group
  • Help For Heroes
  • SSAFA Forces Help

Several of our solicitors were part of team that recently won The Claims Innovation Award for Legal Service Team of the Year (2016) for their pro bono work within The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group (TRBLSG).


Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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