As with any professional, the Armed Forces personnel are entitled to compensation from their employer if negligence can be proven. The supply of inadequate equipment that gives little or no protection to soldiers during combat could be vital in such cases.
In order to claim compensation for an armed forces combat accident it is essential that you receive expert advice from an experienced military accident solicitor. At Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd we have that expertise and can advise you on your various options:
- Legal Compensation claim
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
Armed Forces Legal Claim
With an Armed Forces legal claim, the military accident or injury must have occurred in the last 3 years and as a result of someone else’s fault. To prove fault is a legal test and has to amount to someone being negligent.
Whilst generally you cannot sue the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for injuries sustained in a direct combat situation, the Ministry of Defence like all employers have a responsibility to protect their employees, this includes providing you with appropriate equipment which is in good working order, providing suitable training and supervision and a safe place and system of work.
In view of the recent development that military personnel fear for their careers if they sue the MOD, Hilary Meredith now has confirmation from Baroness Taylor, on behalf of the Government that:
“The military careers of Armed Forces personnel who claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or through the Courts should not suffer as a result of that claim.”
The combat accident compensation you will receive will reflect your pain and suffering as result of the injury and the emotional loss for being unable to continue in the armed forces.
On top of this if your career is affected by the injury you can recover damages for both past and future loss of earnings, pension loss, delay or loss of promotion plus associated benefits. For example if you are unable to deploy on operational detachments as a result of your injuries then a claim can be made for any allowances you are no longer entitled to such as LSSA. Many injuries have long term effects and compensation can be obtained to ensure that your needs are catered for in the future. For instance you may need ongoing medical treatment, care and assistance, adapted housing and other aids and equipment and damages can be recovered for these eventualities.
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
In addition to a legal claim for compensation you may be able to make a claim under the non fault Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) which covers all regular and reserve personnel whose injury, ill health or death was caused by service on or after the 6th April 2005.
Unlike a legal claim, an award may still be made via the AFCS if your injury was caused during a combat situation.
A claim can be made whilst you are still serving and must be made within 7 years of the accident occurring and does not prevent you from bringing a legal claim at the same time.
If an application under the scheme is successful you will be paid a lump sum for your injury and depending on your injury you may qualify for a guaranteed income payment for life in a similar way to receiving a pension.
In these cases in particular you need to check if you also have a legal claim as awards may be higher. If you have received multiple injuries as well, the award under the AFCS is capped and you need to take advice.
Time Limit from Accident
Whilst in Service
|Legal Claim||Yes||Within 3 yrs||Yes||Since 1987||Full Damages|
|AFCS||No||Within 7 yrs||Yes||06/04/2005||Max award for single injury £285,000 plus possible loss of earning capacity|
To discuss your Combat Accident claim free of charge with our Military Accident team contact us on 0800 124 4444 or start your claim now.