Specialist military lawyers at Thompsons Solicitors are calling for an urgent review of military training exercises in the wake of a serious training accident which occurred yesterday evening (Wednesday 17 June) on Salisbury Plain.

According to reports more than 20 soldiers have been injured in a military training accident, with five soldiers described as having suffered ‘life changing injuries’ and a further 16 people being noted to be ‘walking wounded’. Two people had to be cut free from vehicles by firefighters.

Two victims with life-threatening injuries were taken to Southampton General Hospital by air ambulance, and a further eight were taken to Salisbury Hospital.

According to Wiltshire Police, the accident, which involved three military vehicles, took place on a public route across a military owned plain. It is not yet clear whether the vehicles involved were taking part in a military training exercise when they collided.

David Robinson, a serious injury solicitor specialising in military injury claims, said: “While the exact circumstances surrounding this accident are still to be investigated, as this news develops our thoughts are with those personnel involved in this accident and their families.

“If this incident occurred during military training, it is vital that a thorough and robust independent investigation is carried out to establish the causes and to learn for the future.

“In recent months, we have seen the tragic and fatal consequences of poor planning and inadequate risk assessment in military training exercises, and yesterday’s incident casts doubt on the military’s safety and planning standards in relation to training exercises.

“The military has a responsibility to protect service personnel and, while the causes of this particular accident are not yet clear, it serves as a tragic and stark reminder of the need for an urgent and independent review of the Ministry of Defence’s safety standards and policies. Given the number of such incidents we are getting to the stage where a review of those policies and procedures is called for.

“Military personnel have the same rights as any other employee injured at work when they are not in war or conflict. It is important that members of the armed forces who are injured during their service seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity and do not wait until they may be discharged from service. Suffering an injury can result in life-changing consequences, including leaving military life. Contacting a specialist solicitor can help give the necessary assurances that rehabilitation will continue, and that an injured person’s future will be protected, regardless of whether or not injuries lead to a medical discharge.”

 

David Robinson is a military claims specialist at Thompsons Solicitors. He acts for service personnel in the UK and across the world. He has acted in a number of high profile cases, including the Court of Appeal case of Wood v Ministry of Defence [2011] EWCA Civ 792. A passion for working with injured military personnel has led David to become an Associate Member of the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group. David received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours’ List in 2015 which recognised his commitment to supporting military personnel. David has contributed to the legal press in relation to military matters and has become a contributing military author for LexisNexis PSL. David is committed to improving the lives of seriously injured individuals and is a member of Headway Teesside, a brain injury charity, and Chair of Road Peace NorthEast, a road safety charity.