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Military Injury Claims

Injuries, both physical and in respect of mental ill health, can be career-ending for serving personnel. They can also have lifelong consequences for your health, well-being and ability to find other employment outside of the Armed Forces.

We know that serving personnel and their families often receive confusing or inaccurate information about their options for claiming compensation for injuries and illnesses sustained whilst they are serving. It is essential to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out.

At Wolferstans, we are proud to act on behalf of our Armed Forces community and their families, in connection with all types of accident claims. This includes claims against the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for injuries that occur during service, as well as accidents and injuries outside of work.

Book your free initial consultation with our military claims lawyers in Plymouth

To discuss your military claim and whether you may be entitled to compensation, please get in touch by calling us 01752 292212 on or use our contact form.

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How our military injury solicitors can help

Our military claims solicitors can advise you on your right to claim and the process for doing so, including claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and separate civil claims (which can be pursued alongside an AFCS claim). We want you to get the full military injury compensation available, so you can rebuild your life and move on as soon as possible.

We offer “No Win, No Fee” arrangements for civil claims, meaning there is usually no upfront cost or financial risk for starting a claim. We also offer a free initial consultation so we can talk through your situation with you and give clear, practical advice about whether we believe your claim may be pursued and how the claims process works.

The support we provide does not end at simply recovering your military injury compensation. We can also assist you with effectively managing your compensation with information and advice on Personal Injury Trust Funds, so you get the most out of any funds received.

Our team can also help you to access appropriate rehabilitation and care support through our extensive network of medical experts and care providers, as well as connecting you with relevant charities and other organisations.

Our military claims team understands how important your service career is to you and your family. By giving you the right advice at the right time, we can get you the best support for your recovery while allowing you to maintain a positive relationship with the service you have given so much to.

Our expertise with military injury compensation claims

With many years of experience helping serving personnel, veterans and their families to claim against the Ministry of Defence and other parties, we have expertise in all types of military claims, including those related to:

  • Personal injuries
  • Training injuries
  • Injuries on operations or on an exercise
  • Accidents at work
  • Injuries caused by defective or inappropriate equipment
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Military hearing loss claims
  • Road traffic accidents involving Armed Forces personnel
  • Stress at work
  • Bullying and assault
  • Cold injuries, including Non-Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI)
  • Heat injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Failure to observe medical limitations
  • Off duty accidents

Wolferstans are members of the Forces Law Network and receive regular training on issues that are relevant to our Armed Forces community.

Wolferstans have access to a wide range of medical and other experts, as well as Barristers, and we will be able to help you recover compensation for the injuries that you have suffered.

Thanks to our strong expertise in negotiating out-of-court settlements for military claims, it is rare that you will need to attend a court hearing, with most claims settled voluntarily by the MOD or other defendants.

We are familiar with the pay and pension structures that apply to Armed Forces personnel and the procedures for medical downgrade and discharge. This means we can make sure you always get the maximum possible support, no matter how complicated your circumstances.

How to claim for an injury sustained in service

Depending on when your injury occurred and the circumstances of your injury, there are three main ways you can claim military injury compensation. We will be happy to advise you on the available options during your initial consultation with our military injury lawyers.

The following is a brief overview of the three main types of military injury claims you can make:

Civil claims against the MOD and other parties

It is often necessary to pursue a civil personal injury claim against the MOD or another party to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to and that you are able to meet your needs.

Key points about civil claims for military injuries:

  • All personnel whether serving or civilian can make a civil claim
  • You can start a civil claim at the same time as making an AFCS or War Pension Scheme claim (see below)
  • There is a standard 3-year time limit to make a claim, although limited exceptions may apply (e.g. for military hearing loss claims)
  • There is no upper limit to the amount of military injury compensation that is potentially available
  • AFCS is tariff based and does not take account of individual circumstances and so civil awards tend to be higher

To find out more about making a claim or to book a free initial appointment with our military injury solicitors, please get in touch.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

If your injury or illness was the result of, or was made worse by, something that occurred on or after 6 April 2005, you may be able to make a claim under the AFCS.

Key points to know about military personal injury claims:

  • All personnel whether serving or veteran can claim under the AFCS
  • It is not necessary to show that someone was at fault in order for compensation to be awarded.
  • AFCS compensation payments can range from £1,236 to £650,000
  • Your Armed Forces injury claim must usually be submitted within 7 years of the injury occurring
  • Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to make a civil claim at the same time

Claims under the War Pension Scheme

If your claim relates to an incident that occurred before 6 April 2005, you will need to claim through the War Pension Scheme.

Key points to know about War Pension Scheme claims:

  • All former service personnel can make a civil claim under the War Pension Scheme
  • You do not need to show someone was at fault to be entitled to compensation
  • You can receive a lump sum and/or an ongoing pension depending on the seriousness of your injuries
  • There is no time limit to submit a claim
  • Where eligible for the War Pension Scheme you will usually be outside of the time limit to make a civil claim, although there are some limited exceptions that may apply

Common questions about military injury claims

A military injury claim refers to a legal process through which current or former members of the Armed Forces seek compensation for injuries or illnesses sustained during their service. This includes injuries incurred during combat, training exercises, or as a result of inadequate equipment or medical care.

Military personnel are entitled to file injury claims under various legal frameworks, such as the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or through civil litigation. The AFCS provides no-fault compensation for injuries, illnesses, or death resulting from military service, with payouts determined based on a tariff system.

For cases involving negligence or misconduct on the part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), service members may pursue claims through the civil courts. These claims require evidence of negligence or failure in the duty of care provided by the MOD.

Military injury claims can be made by individuals who are current or former members of the Armed Forces. This includes personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, and other military branches. Eligibility for making a military injury claim is not limited to any specific rank or position; it extends to all service members, regardless of their role.

Service members can make a military injury claim if they have suffered injuries, illnesses, or disabilities as a result of their military service. These injuries can be physical or in respect of mental health and can arise from various circumstances, such as combat operations, training exercises, accidents, exposure to hazardous materials, or medical negligence within the Armed Forces.

Yes, individuals who are injured while serving  may be entitled to compensation and financial support. The compensation system is primarily administered through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), which provides financial awards to military personnel who suffer injuries, illnesses, or disabilities as a result of their service.

The AFCS is a no-fault compensation scheme, meaning that it doesn’t require service members to prove negligence or fault on the part of the military. Instead, compensation is determined based on a tariff system that considers the nature and severity of the injury or illness.

The most common injuries military are often related to physical training and exercises. Musculoskeletal injuries, such as sprains, strains, and fractures, tend to be prevalent due to the rigorous physical demands placed on service members during training and deployments.

Additionally, overuse injuries, like tendonitis and stress fractures, are common among military personnel who engage in repetitive physical tasks. These injuries can result from prolonged marching or carrying heavy loads over extended periods.

While physical injuries are frequent, it’s essential not to overlook the prevalence of mental ill health among military personnel, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. These conditions can result from the stressors of combat, multiple deployments, and exposure to traumatic events.

Wolferstans’ specialist military injury lawyers will be happy to advise you whether there is enough evidence for you to be able to make a claim. We will meet with you, talk with you on the telephone or email you about whether your case would benefit from further investigation and whether we are able to help.

To claim compensation for injury, disease or illness, you must show that this was caused at least in part by the negligence of another.

If your accident happened whilst you were serving, this will often be the MOD (not the colleagues you were working with at the time) or a third party engaged by the MOD to provide services or equipment.

If your accident happened outside of work, your claim may be against another driver or a Highway Authority responsible for repairing the road, for example. Each case is different.

A claim for armed forces injury compensation must normally be started within 3 years of the date of an accident that causes injury. There are exceptions, but it is important to seek advice as soon as possible.

As well as accident claims, Wolferstans also has a specialist team that deals with deafness and other industrial diseases arising out of service. Special rules may apply in respect of time limits. If you think this may be relevant to you, please enquire.

Even if you think you may be out of time, you should call us to seek advice. The rules depend on the individual case. We will be able to advise you whether you are out of time and whether there may be some way forward despite this.

Yes. You may have been told that you are not allowed to make a claim for negligence until after you have left the service. This is not correct and can lead to injured personnel being out of time for making a claim.

The exception to this is the war pension scheme. This is only open to veterans.

There is an important exception specific to the Armed Forces when it may not be possible to make a claim. This is the principle of “Combat Immunity”.

Combat immunity means that proceedings cannot normally be brought for injuries caused in the theatre of war. However, there have been recent inroads into this principle which means the issue is not always this clear-cut.

A key point to understand is that there is a distinction between decisions taken on the frontline and those taken in Whitehall. As an example, decisions in respect of the procurement of equipment and training can fall outside of this principle.

Our specialist military injury solicitors have the experience and up-to-date expertise to accurately advise on whether the principle of combat immunity applies to your claim.

When determining the level of compensation you could receive, it will be necessary to assess the impact that your injury has on your personal life and Armed Forces career before we are able to say how much you should receive.

Our military injury compensation claims team will be able to advise you at the beginning whether your claim is worth pursuing. They will attempt to give a realistic indication of the level of compensation that is potentially available as soon as possible.

There are two main types of compensation when pursuing a civil injury claim. These cover:

Your pain and suffering – This will cover the physical and/or psychological impact of your injuries, using reports from medical experts as evidence.

Financial losses – This will account for any financial losses you have experienced as a result of your injuries. For example, this may include any periods where you are unable to work, as well as any losses such as rehabilitation costs and home adaptations.

No. You can make a civil claim at the same time as applying for an award under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or War Pension Scheme. This is something we usually recommend as injury awards under the AFCS are tariff based and you may be awarded more by a Civil Court. There may also be losses which you cannot recover under the AFCS.

It is worth noting that the law does not allow “double recovery”, so if you are awarded compensation under the AFCS this will be offset against any other claim that you make.

We would advise you not to wait until the result of your Application under AFCS is known before making a civil claim as this could result in you being out of time in making a civil claim.

There are various options to help you cover the cost of claiming military injury compensation, no matter your circumstances.

The most common options are:

Conditional Fee Agreement – This is commonly known as a “No Win, No Fee” agreement. Our fees will only apply if we win compensation for you.

Legal Expenses Insurance – You may have insurance for legal costs through an existing policy, such as your home contents or motor insurance. If you have specialist Armed Forces insurance, PAX, for example, legal expenses may be covered.

Paying privately – You can pay privately if you wish and have the funds available to do so.

If we are successful in claiming compensation on your behalf for a military injury, it is important to make sure that you get the most out of the funds you receive. We can advise you on the various options for managing military injury compensation.

Protecting your means-tested benefits

If you receive an award of compensation, that may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. You can protect your entitlement to your benefits by setting up a Personal Injury Trust, which is something our Armed Forces solicitors will be happy to advise you on.

Investing your compensation

Where you have received substantial compensation, you may wish to consider investing the funds to make sure they maintain their value in line with inflation over the years. Investing your compensation requires thought and often specialist advice. We can refer you to an appropriate advisor on request.

The duration of an armed forces compensation claim can vary significantly depending on several factors. The complexity of the case, the severity of the injury or illness, the availability of evidence, and the specific circumstances all influence the timeline.

On average, it can take several months to several years to resolve an armed forces compensation claim.

Claims made through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) typically follow a structured process and tend to be resolved more quickly, often within 12 to 18 months. However, if the claim is disputed or requires an appeal, it can take longer.

For civil compensation claims the process can be considerably longer, potentially lasting several years. These cases often require the gathering of extensive evidence, legal proceedings, and negotiations.

Book your free initial consultation with our military claims lawyers in Plymouth

To discuss your military claim and whether you may be entitled to compensation, please get in touch by calling us 01752 292212 on or use our contact form.