Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon will today announce a 12-week consultation on plans to increase awards for servicemen and women injured in combat.
Leading military solicitor Hilary Meredith, welcomed the news.
“This will be a huge relief to soldiers injured in the front line,” said Hilary.
“We have fought long and hard to help soldiers seriously injured or harmed in the battlefield.
“The MoD quite rightly introduced the concept that if you were injured in a combat situation you could not sue – as to do so would seriously impact on military operations. But when soldiers are sent to war with the wrong equipment we have fought the MoD for the rights of those injured – such as in lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover cases which some soldiers have called mobile coffins.”
Under the new proposals, pay-outs will be determined on a case by case basis depending on the extent of the injuries.
“The MoD brought in combat immunity in Gulf War 1 to reduce amounts payable to soldiers. They have now agreed to increase the gratuitous lump sum payable under the armed forces compensation scheme although we don’t yet know by how much. At present a soldier injured in combat receives a capped award of £570,000 where payments for claims through the courts can run to millions of pounds.”
“This is not about greedy lawyers – it is about a lifelong passionate belief in assisting those who served their country and is shown in the amount of free work at no cost to a soldier or their family this law firm undertakes on their behalf. For the families of those fatally injured and those with life changing injuries in combat, there is massive distrust of the MoD. There will always be the need for independent specialist lawyers to advise and whilst we welcome these recommendations we await to see the full details. The MoD’s failure only yesterday in Parliament to accept corporate responsibility when things go wrong just proves the point.”