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Military Injury Compensation Claims

Special Forces Injury Claims

The work undertaken by UK Special Forces (UKSF) can be extremely dangerous and it's generally accepted that there’s a high degree of risk involved in serving in these units.

But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) should still be taking every precaution to ensure you can do your job as safely as possible. If you've been injured, or a loved one has been killed, because of an oversight leading to an accident then our solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation.

In addition to handling claims for Army, RAF and Royal Navy personnel, our lawyers have acted on behalf of regular and reserve members of:

  • The Special Air Service (SAS)
  • The Special Boat Service (SBS)
  • The Parachute Regiment
  • The Royal Marines
  • The Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR)
  • Bomb Disposal.

Our military injury team includes a number of former service personnel, so we understand the concerns that members of the armed forces may have, particularly the need for confidentiality when making Special Forces claims.

If you think your injury was caused by a failing or negligence on the part of the MoD, then you may have a case. Contact us on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation and we'll discuss your accident and give you expert advice on your options.

25 years' experience acting for Special Forces soldiers
Former Ammunition Technical and Intelligence Operations Officers among our team of lawyers
Active members of The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group

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Special Forces Injury Claims - More Information
    • What's The Claims Process?
    • To make a compensation claim for a specialist unit personnel 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

Who Can Claim Compensation For Special Forces Injuries?

If you've been injured in an accident that you believe was caused by negligence on the part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

However, as you will have signed a particular confidentiality clause, you will need Express Permission authorised in writing before you instruct us. Our lawyers have years of experience in this area and can help you find the appropriate person to authorise this.

Even if you've already received a settlement through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), you may also be able to bring a civil claim against the MoD.

By the nature of their roles, our former clients can't be identified, but we've helped many specialist unit personnel who have been injured in accidents such as:

Recent cases we've worked on have involved injuries that have taken place during training at home and in the US, as well as on deployment in Africa, Oman, Iraq and Afghanistan. Injuries that we've helped clients claim for include:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Blast injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Fatal injuries
  • Psychological trauma

You usually have three years from the date of injury to bring a claim for compensation. In the case of fatal accidents, the family of the deceased have three years from either the date your loved one died, or the date you received the post-mortem results.

If you're unsure whether or not you'll be able to make a claim, it's best to seek some legal advice to find out exactly what your options are. Contact us on 0800 022 3321 today for a free initial consultation. There's no obligation to continue – you're welcome to just ask us for our advice.

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Could Claiming Put Other Members Of My Unit In Danger?

We understand that you may have concerns about pursuing a compensation claim as a member of a specialist unit, whether past or present. Previous clients have been concerned that public exposure or a loss of funding may put their unit at risk.

Any settlement award is paid by the Ministry of Defence out of a specific budget that's set aside for exactly these sorts of situations, and does not affect your unit's budget at all. It certainly won't have any impact on the amount and quality of kit, equipment and other resources for your friends who remain in service.

The claims process is also kept as private and confidential as is possible. Your solicitor owes you a strict duty of confidentiality, and won't discuss your case with any third party without your express permission.

Although all court proceedings are generally a matter of public record, the names of those serving in the UK Special Forces can be kept from appearing in court documents where justified, such as if it would put you or your unit at risk.

If you have any other concerns about confidentiality, or about the claims process in general, contact us on 0800 022 3321 today for a free initial consultation and we'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Special Forces Claim?

Our personal injury team is the largest in the UK, and has had extensive success in making compensation claims against the Ministry of Defence (MoD). A number of members of the team are former service personnel themselves, giving us a unique insight in these cases.

We have a proven track record in representing members of the UK Special Forces with care, support, and confidentiality. Although the names of our clients in these cases can't be revealed, some examples of recent settlements include:

  • Client A – received £1.2m after being injured in an aviation crash overseas, with complex issues concerning the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
  • Client B – received £1m after a vehicle rollover, with the difficult issue of late onset of symptoms.
  • Client C – family received £720k after a loved one died in an air accident.
  • Client D – received £4.7m, including rehabilitation and care after catastrophic injury whilst serving overseas.
  • Client E – received £1.2m after a training accident lead to trauma and extensive injuries.

In many of these claims, the injuries experienced were life-changing, often resulting in the loss of a service career, and the earnings and support network that goes with it. When this happens, we're there to support our clients every step of the way.

Rehabilitation is a key part of our service, and we'll work with you from the beginning of the claim to identify any medical care and support needs you have now, and will have in the future. This includes physiotherapy, mental health care, and support such as mobility aids or home modifications.

If you have any questions about our services, or how we can help, don't hesitate to get in touch. Call today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation on your case.

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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

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

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