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Military Injury Compensation Claims

Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claims

Members of the armed forces work in testing and dangerous environments. If you're injured, it's crucial that the medical care provided is of the high standard you deserve. If you've suffered as a result of medical negligence, our solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation.

All too often, cases of armed forces medical negligence aren't reported, which could mean that the medical officers, doctors or nurses responsible are not held to account and can make the same mistakes again. By making a successful claim, you are not only compensated financially, but our lawyers can help you make sure that any mistakes are highlighted so that none of your colleagues suffer in the same way. 

Medical negligence is when a healthcare professional fails to meet an acceptable standard of care, resulting in an injury, illness or loss – whether this is making an existing condition worse, or causing a new condition.

If you’ve suffered as a result of medical negligence while serving in the Army, Navy, RAF or Special Forces you may be able to claim compensation. You could also claim if you experienced negligence while serving in the Army Reserve (formerly the Territorial Army), Navy Reserve or RAF Reserve.

We have a proven track record in handling military medical negligence claims and approach every case with care and sensitivity. We also work with a number of Armed Forces welfare branches to ensure we're expertly placed to handle your claim.

If you have any questions about claiming compensation for military medical malpractice, call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online and we'll get back to you.

No Win No Fee*
Expert lawyers with a service background
Experience with issues unique to service-related claims
Largest medical negligence team in the country, with offices throughout the UK

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Armed Forces Medical Negligence 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.

    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after a military accident or illness will depend on a few factors related to your condition, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      When calculating your compensation, we'll take the following things into account:

      • Your age, rank and specialism
      • The pain and suffering caused by your injury or illness
      • Loss of your service earnings caused by delayed promotion or medical discharge
      • Loss of any civilian earnings
      • Loss of pension contributions / resettlement grant
      • Loss of a commitment bonus
      • Loss of specialist pay and allowances
      • Loss of service benefits including loss of subsidised quarters and Learning Credits
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids

      Any settlement is paid by the Ministry of Defence, out of a specific budget set aside for these situations. It doesn't come out of your unit’s budget, and it doesn’t come out of the budget which pays for kit, equipment and other resources.

      For more information, call us on 0800 022 3321 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • 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.

    • What's The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
    • The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is a government scheme that provides compensation for injury, illness and death caused by service on or after 6 April 2005.

      Unlike a legal claim, the AFCS does not require you to establish that anybody else was at fault. This means that you could be able to claim under the AFCS in circumstances where there is no legal claim.

      However, the AFCS is a tariff based system – it does not look at the way your injury will affect you as an individual, or what financial losses you will actually incur. For this reason legal claims made through the courts will almost always result in significantly more compensation than claims made through the AFCS.

      It's accepted that members of the armed forces have no choice where they're deployed, or in the activities they're required to undertake. This means that compensation could be paid from the scheme for injuries caused in a number of ways, including those that occur during:

      • Operations
      • Training
      • Service-approved sports
      • Exercise to maintain military fitness

      Both regular and reserve forces can apply for compensation through the AFCS, whether you're still serving or a veteran.

      Compensation is paid as a lump sum on a tariff-based system determined by the severity of your injuries, and can range from a minimum of £1,200 to a maximum award of £570,000. You could claim through the AFCS as well as claiming through the courts.

      You can find out more about the AFCS here, or alternatively you can contact our solicitors on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation if you have any specific questions.

    • 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

What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence is defined in the same way whether it concerns civilian or armed forces patients or medical professionals. Being a serving member of the military doesn't stop you from making a claim for compensation.  

You don’t have to have been discharged before starting a claim.  In fact, given the time limits that exist for making a claim, it’s often better to seek legal advice sooner rather than later.  

Also known as clinical negligence or medical malpractice, it's generally defined as improper, unskilled, or careless treatment of a patient by a medical practitioner, including but not limited to:

  • Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Paramedics

To present a medical negligence claim to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), we generally need to prove three things

  1. That a healthcare professional, whether an armed forces or civilian practitioner, had a duty of care to you as a patient
  2. That the professional failed to meet an acceptable standard of care
  3. That this negligence caused an injury, illness or loss

Of course, a doctor could claim that an injury or condition was not directly caused by their actions, so there are tests for deciding whether something was negligent or not. The main questions a court will ask include:

  • Were you fully informed of the potential risks involved with all aspects of your treatment?
  • Would the same actions have been taken by all responsible medical practitioners in the same circumstances?
  • Were there other courses of action available that would have had a better outcome?

If you're not sure if you'll be able to make a claim, or have any questions about the claims process, give us a call today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case. We'll discuss your options, and offer our expert advice.

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What's The Process For An Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claim?

To make a compensation claim for medical negligence, 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 injury and treatment, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

If your claim is against an armed forces medical practitioner, we'll begin by forensically getting in your notes and records (namely your FMed4 and FMed9) to start investigating the case. We’ll also let the Ministry of Defence know that we are investigating your claim. If your injury occurred at a civilian hospital, we'll determine who you'll need to claim against.

Your claim will generally go through the following 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, plus notes from 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.

    Generally, the Ministry of Defence won’t formally investigate the claim until we have put forward a formal Letter of Claim, which is when we’ve obtained evidence in relation to establishing “negligence” (that you have suffered poor care and that it has caused you some loss).

  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. Obviously, we’ll look in detail about how you are going to be affected in the future as a result of the poor care and how this translates into financial compensation. We'll put this amount to your opponent, and they can either accept liability or contest the claim.

  4. Conclusion. If your opponent accepts blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, court proceedings will begin. This involves having formal documents prepared, often by a barrister.

    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, witnesses 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 we agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee* arrangement, then you won't have to pay anything if you are unsuccessful.

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

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For An Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claim?

Making a claim for compensation can be daunting, particularly when your claim is being made against the Ministry of Defence. We have a proven track record of successfully making military compensation claims against the MoD, thanks to our extensive armed forces expertise.

Many of our lawyers working on military cases are former armed forces personnel, so we understand the concerns that our clients have perfectly. We've worked to secure compensation for service personnel injured in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Canada, Germany and Kenya, as well as at home in the UK, and we approach every case with care and sensitivity.

We also have a wide ranging experience in medical negligence claims, both for military personnel and civilians, handling more than any other law firm in the country.

In every case, rehabilitation and recovery are an essential part of our service, and we ensure that any settlement we obtain accounts for any medical care or support you'll need as a result of your injuries. Our approach to rehabilitation has seen us win Post Magazine's Rehabilitation Award for Claimant Solicitors on seven occasions.

To find out more about how to make a claim, and how we can help, call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case.

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Awards and Accreditation

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

The Times Best Law Firms 2019 legal-500-2019 chambers-2019

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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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