If a loved one has died while serving in the armed forces and you suspect that their death could have been prevented, our solicitors may be able to help you make a claim for compensation.

You deserve to know the full circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one. If you believe they died unnecessarily, then we can help you find out what happened and why.

In addition to claims for fatal injuries, we've been representing the families of armed forces personnel at military inquests for over 25 years, handling cases with sensitivity and care. We support families through an inquest's challenges, such as:

  • Dealing with Public Interest Immunity Certificates
  • Representing your interests against lawyers from the Ministry of Defence and the British government
  • Witnesses who are unavailable through deployment
  • Trying to trace key documents to support your case.

Dealing with an inquest or compensation claim following the death of a loved one is always going to be a difficult experience and it helps to have the experts on your side. We handle every aspect of your case during this emotional time, putting your needs first every step of the way.

If your loved one has died while serving in any capacity in the Army, Navy, RAF or Special Forces you may be able to claim compensation. You could also claim if they died while serving in the Army Reserve (formerly the Territorial Army), Navy, RAF or Special Forces Reserves.

To get the full benefit of our legal expertise, we recommend contacting our team as soon as possible - before an inquest takes place. This will give us the time to access information and documents from the armed forces to ensure the inquest answers the important questions about how and why your loved one lost their life.

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.

Proven track record in high-profile inquests
Expert lawyers with a service background
Bringing claims against the MoD since 1987
Strong links with military charities, including Inquest and the Independent Inquest Advice Unit of the Royal British Legion

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Military Inquests And Fatal Claims - More Information

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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."

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Client Story – Mark Wright

Stu Pearson

"I was referred to the medical emergency response team and I was placed right beside Mark Wright... It still didn't register that he was so badly injured - I couldn't work out what was going on - and then I looked again and his body was gone. Unbeknownst to me, he'd actually died and been placed in a body bag. " - Stu Pearson

“Mark showed incredible bravery to carry on helping and encouraging his team after suffering such serious injuries, which was recognised by his award of a posthumous George Cross." - Military injury specialist Irwin Mitchell

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Make A Claim For Compensation Following A Fatal Military Accident?

If your loved one has lost their life as a result of an accident while serving in the armed forces, then you may be able to claim compensation.

In fatal cases, you have three years to make a claim, starting from the date your loved one died.

It doesn't matter what branch of the service your loved one was in – we have made successful claims for service personnel in the Army, RAF and Royal Navy, including specialist units.

We have also made successful claims following a range of fatal incidents, including accidents during training exercises, while travelling, or in combat.

Claims for fatal injuries that occurred while in combat can be more complicated due to what's known as the combat immunity defence. This means that the Ministry of Defence is not under a duty to maintain a safe system of work for service personnel engaged with an enemy in the course of combat.

However, if we can prove that your loved one's death has been caused by negligence on the part of the MoD, whether through friendly fire, inadequate/poorly maintained equipment, or preventable transport accidents, we may still be able to make a case. Find out more about how combat immunity can affect a claim.

If you're not sure whether you'll be able to make a claim, it's important to seek legal advice from expert lawyers. Call us on 0800 022 3321 today for a free initial consultation on your claim, and we'll be able to offer our expert opinion on your options.

What Happens At A Military Inquest?

When a member of the armed forces dies, an inquest may be undertaken to determine the exact circumstances. It's independent from the Ministry of Defence, with a coroner appointed by the Ministry of Justice.

Inquests are carried out when the cause of death is unknown after a post-mortem, or if there is reasonable possibility to believe that your loved one's death was caused by a failure to meet standards that ensure the safety of service personnel.

The coroner will question witnesses to find out exactly what has happened, preparing a legal statement that sets out the exact circumstance of where, when, how and why a person has died.

An inquest’s job is not to find fault, but in many cases its conclusions will greatly assist us in seeking compensation for your loss.

If you have any concerns about a military inquest, contact us on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers, who will be able to answer any questions you might have.

Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For An Inquest Or Fatal Claim?

We've been representing the families of armed forces personnel at inquests for over 25 years, working closely with groups such as the Independent Inquest Advice Unit of the Royal British Legion and the Inquest Lawyers Group to make the best case possible, while also providing our clients with the support they need during this difficult time.

We understand that dealing with an inquest or compensation claim can be a daunting prospect, so it can help to have the experts on your side. We’ll handle every aspect of your claim, and will approach your case with care and sensitivity.

Our extensive experience in this area has meant we've represented families in a number of high-profile inquests, including:

Our dedication to our clients doesn't end when compensation has been paid. We pride ourselves on being a full service law firm, and our lawyers can provide support with a number of other personal legal services that you may need following the loss of a loved one.

If you have any questions about how a claim or inquest works, or how we can help, don't hesitate to contact us online, or call us on 0800 022 3321 today for a free initial consultation to discuss your options.

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

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Strong client care ethos
Excellent and well known team that acts quickly and is a pleasure to work with."
Head and shoulders above others
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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.