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Military Injury Compensation Claims

Military Disease Claims

Your employer has a responsibility to keep you as safe as possible at work – even if you’re serving in the armed forces. Our personal injury solicitors can help you claim compensation if you’ve contracted a disease due to unsafe working conditions in the military.

Armed forces personnel do a vast range of jobs, many of which involve working in hazardous environments or with hazardous materials.

You have a right to adequate training and protection so you can do these jobs safely. Without the right measures in place, you’re at risk of developing a serious illness that could cause life-long medical problems.

Our lawyers may be able to help you claim compensation if you've suffered:

  • Noise-induced hearing damage from working in loud environments without hearing protection
  • Eczema or dermatitis from handling hazardous substances without skin protection
  • Asthma or other respiratory problems from working near noxious fumes without a mask
  • Mesothelioma and other diseases due to exposure to asbestos dust
  • Tropical diseases such as malaria.

We have over 25 years of experience helping serving and former armed forces personnel claim compensation from the Ministry of Defence and through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. We’ve secured compensation for hundreds of people across all branches of the armed forces.

With former service personnel as part of our military injury team, we understand the unique needs and concerns involved with working in the military.

We know that your service benefits and earnings are important to you and that you may be worried about a medical discharge or downgrade. We’ll make sure your compensation covers any lost earnings or benefits, as well as for the cost of retraining for a new job if necessary.

Whether you were serving in the Army, Navy, RAF, or Special Forces when you developed your disease, we can help. Current and former personnel, reservists, and civilian employees can all claim.

Many of our cases are funded through No Win No Fee agreements, which mean there’s no financial risk to you*.

Contact us online or call us on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation to learn more.

Active members of The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group
Expert lawyers with a service background
Bringing claims against the MoD since 1987
No Win No Fee*

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Military Disease Claims - More Information
    • How Do I Claim?
    • 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:

      • Investigation. We'll begin by determining the extent of your injuries, and assessing what losses you may have suffered as a result. 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 files. 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.
      • Rehabilitation. If you have any medical care or support needs, we'll help you to access the necessary treatment and advice.
      • 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.
      • 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.. 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.

    • 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 something if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

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

    • 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.

    • Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Military Injury Claim?
    • Our specialist military claims team, which includes former service personnel, has over 25 years' experience in claiming compensation from both the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Our dedication to ensuring military personnel receive the compensation they deserve has seen us involved in a number of landmark cases, including:

      • The landmark 1994 Chinook Mull of Kintyre crash
      • A Puma crash in Iraq involving a Specialist Unit
      • The death of Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard by friendly fire
      • The death of Corporal Mark Wright GC at Kajaki Dam, Afghanistan
      From the beginning of your claim, we'll work with you to understand any immediate medical treatment needs you have, and any support you'll need in the future, such as:

      • Mobility aids and modifications to your home
      • Rehabilitation
      • Help buying or selling a house
      • Support with employment difficulties, or help retraining
      • Financial planning advice
      • Wills, trust and probate services

      Claiming compensation can be particularly daunting for members of the armed forces. You may be concerned that it will affect your service career or your relationship with the rest of your unit. We understand those concerns and will try to answer any questions before you make the decision as to whether or not to claim.

      There are very strict rules about discriminating against personnel who make a claim, and we can advise you on your rights in this respect. Compensation settlements come out of a budget specifically set aside by the Ministry of Defence, rather than affecting the funds available to your unit.

      If you have any questions about your military claim, you can contact us on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation on your case. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have.

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 Should The Military Do To Protect Personnel From Disease?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers have a duty of care to their employees, and must protect them from health risks in the workplace. If a risk cannot be eliminated, the employer has a duty to reduce the level of risk as low as is reasonably practicable. This duty applies to the Ministry of Defence too.

Employers must also give you suitable training and, where appropriate, the adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) you need to work safely. This may include:

  • Gloves
  • Overalls
  • Boots
  • Masks
  • Hearing protection.

If you are serving abroad, they should also provide you with vaccinations, mosquito nets, or filtered water where appropriate to reduce the risk of tropical diseases.

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How Long Do I Have To Claim?

You have up to three years after you contracted your disease to make a normal personal injury claim, or up to seven years for an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme claim.

However, most people don’t realise that they have developed a disease straight away. You also might not realise what caused your illness.

In these cases, the time limits apply from when you should have reasonably noticed the disease and linked it to your working conditions.

It is always best to start your claim as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of success. Get in touch with us today – use our online contact form or call us free on 0800 022 3321.

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Can I Claim If My Disease Was Misdiagnosed?

There are two main types of misdiagnosis:

  • Incorrect or missed diagnosis - when you are diagnosed with the wrong condition or fails to diagnose any problem at all
  • Late diagnosis - when your condition is identified late and your treatment is delayed.

You could endure unnecessary suffering and could be left with permanent health problems if your symptoms go untreated too long. Receiving the wrong treatment could cause additional unpleasant side-effects.

See our Armed Forced Medical Negligence page for more information about claiming if you’ve suffered due to a misdiagnosed disease.

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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

UK Chambers & Partners Leading Firm 2018 Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 Headway Head Injury Solicitor Accreditation 2018 The Times Best Law Firms 2019

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.

This data will only be used by Irwin Mitchell for processing your query and for no other purpose.

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