As expected, in the military strict measures are put in place to safeguard the lives of all military personnel and their families. However, despite this, accidents do happen in the military and when they do, they change lives forever.
Most victims of military accidents suffer severe permanent injuries that require extensive treatment, extended hospital stays, part or full-time professional care and long-term drastic changes to their lifestyle and mobility. This can also be an exceptionally difficult time for family and friends, as they struggle to come to terms with the realities of the situation and fight an overwhelming sense of helplessness.
In 1987 the Crown Proceedings (Armed Force) Act was passed, which allows military personnel to file a claim for compensation for personal injury sustained during service either in the UK or overseas, if the Ministry of Defence (MoD) failed in their legal ‘duty of care’ or health and safety duties.
What Military Accidents Can Be Claimed For
The Crown Proceedings (Armed Force) Act has specified various accident and injury situations that come under the umbrella of Military Accidents. According to the act, some of the circumstances under which you can file a military accident claim include:
- Injury resulting from unsafe working practices
- Military training accidents
- Injury resulting from inadequate, defective or unsafe military equipment or military accommodation
- Injury resulting from insufficient training
- Friendly fire accidents
- Military combat accidents
- Parachuting accidents
- Clinical negligence
- Sports Injuries
- Hearing loss
- Fatal accidents
- Hearing loss
- Chemical accidents
- Boxing injuries
- Criminal injuries
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Psychological injuries resulting from military combat
Injuries sustained during ongoing combat or during an active operation are covered by ‘combat immunity’ and usually cannot be claimed for as a military accident. These situations are not always very clear cut however, so in case of any injury within the military, it is worth examining the circumstances and exploring your options for filing a case for compensation.
When a member of the armed forces is killed in combat, the victim’s family is entitled to file a fatal accident claim.
Making A Claim Against The MoD
In order to file a successful claim against the Ministry of Defence, you need to be able to prove that it was due to negligence on the part of the MoD. Even if the personal injury was not directly caused by the MoD but was due to defective or faulty work equipment, you may still be able to file a compensation claim against the MoD as the equipment would have been provided by them.
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Because of the nature of the job, the law surrounding military accidents is complex. If you have suffered any type of injury whilst in service, regardless of the reason, it is a good idea to consult an established personal injury solicitor and explore your options for filing a military accident claim. An experienced solicitor will examine all of the circumstances leading to and surrounding the accident and help you determine who is to blame for the injuries and whether or not you have a valid claim for compensation.
What Would You Be Compensated For If You File A Military Accident Claim?
As with most personal injury claims, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your pain and suffering caused by the injury and illness. In addition you may also be entitled to claim for all medical and lifestyle expenses related to the accident as well as any potential financial losses including:
- Past or future loss of earnings
- Loss of pension
- Delay or loss of promotion
- Cost of part or full-time professional care
- Potential cost of ongoing treatment
- Cost of mobility aids and other equipment that may be necessary
- Adapted housing
If you intend filing a military accident claim, it is important to know that there is a strict time limit of 3 years after the accident within which you must file your claim for compensation.