You know that you are taking on a high-risk and sometimes dangerous job when you enter military service. You accept that there is a substantial risk of sustaining a line of duty injury when you’re sent into active combat. You also know that the gruelling and demanding nature of military training and non-combat operations bring a higher than average risk of personal injury.

But whatever the level of risk, it always remains your employer’s responsibility - in this case the Ministry of Defence - to carry out adequate risk assessments and to provide appropriate training and equipment for you to do your job as safely and securely as possible.

When proper procedures and practices aren’t in place or are ignored, injuries can and do occur – which is where we can help.

Military injury statistics

The rate of injury and ill health for UK Armed Forces staff has increased since 2014/15
2 in 13 military deaths are safety related
There were 21,975 reported health and safety incidents in 2018/19
More than a third (35%) of all health and safety incidents in 2018/19 were near misses or dangerous occurrences
More than half (55%) of all military injuries occurred on training
The rate of military injury is higher for untrained personnel

*Statistics from Ministry of Defence Annual Summary & Trends Over Time 2014/15 – 2018/19 (Revised 22 September 2020)

 

Why make a claim?

It is your right, as it is the right of all workers, to be able to carry out your job in the safest possible environment and when that doesn’t happen and you are injured, to make a claim.

If you believe you have suffered a personal injury while serving and carrying out your duties, either as a result of military malpractice or negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. It is also possible to sue the military for medical negligence.

 

What types of injuries can I claim for?

You can claim for any injury suffered when carrying out your duties while serving with the Army, Navy or RAF, including injuries suffered with any Reserve Forces.

The most common military injuries include:

  • Injuries suffered during training exercises
  • Battlefield injuries
  • Serious injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, blast injuries or injuries caused by the negligent discharge of firearms
  • Cold weather injuries, including hypothermia and frostbite
  • Hot weather injuries
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Hearing loss and tinnitus
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Falls from height and crush injuries
  • Collisions involving military vehicles
  • Injuries sustained from being struck by military equipment.

 

If you think you may have a claim following an injury, even one not listed above, you can speak to our specialist military injury solicitors for advice.

 

Military injury compensation

There are two types of military injury compensation claims that you may be able to pursue. 

The first and the one most likely to result in higher rewards, often significantly so, is a civil claim against the Ministry of Defence alleging that they were at fault for your injuries. The claim would seek compensation for the full impact of your injury, in every aspect of your life.

Secondly, a claim can be made to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which operates a ‘non-fault’ system. Payments are generally based on a fixed tariff and are only awarded if you have been injured in the course of your military service.

We may advise you to progress both claims initially, but you cannot be compensated twice for the same injury. If you receive compensation under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, this will be deducted from any damages you are awarded in a civil claim for the same injury.

 

How much am I likely to get?

Each case is different. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injury and the impact it has had on your life. Once we’ve reviewed the details of your claim and assessed the impact of the injuries you suffered, Thompsons’ specialist military injury solicitors will be able to give you a good idea of how much compensation we could help you secure.

The aim of an injury claim against the Armed Forces, using experts like Thompsons, is to get you the maximum compensation and, if needed, rehabilitation.

 

Do I have to make a claim within a certain time?

Yes. You only have three years from the date of your injury to make a military personal injury claim through the civil courts. If you have suffered from an injury that does not immediately show itself but develops after a period of time (such as diseases that flow from exposure to asbestos), you have three years to make a claim from the time you knew about the injury.

However, you have seven years in which to put in a claim to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

You do not have to leave service before making a claim and should seek confidential legal advice as soon as possible following an injury.

 

How much will it cost me if I’m not successful?

There are different ways to fund a military personal injury claim.

We can provide free legal advice for military personnel who are part of a trade union and if you have a claim to make, you can do so through your union’s legal service. When representing members of our trade union clients, Thompsons ensures that 100 per cent of damages awarded are received by the claimant.

If you are not a trade union member, Thompsons’ experts can still help you. We work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, which means you only make a limited contribution to our costs if you win and pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful.

Rest assured, you will not incur any hidden costs when pursuing any type of personal injury claim with Thompsons Solicitors.

 

Should I worry about claiming against my superiors?

Everyone in employment has a legal right to expect their employer to provide them with a safe working environment. The risk of personal injury in every workplace should be properly assessed and mitigated, as far as ‘reasonably practicable.'

As an employer, the Ministry of Defence understands the significant risks involved in military service and is not only used to receiving claims for compensation following military injury but, in the huge majority of cases, quickly accepts if it is to blame. Claims are then progressed in a straightforward manner.

Remember, you will not be making this claim alone. Our specialist military injury solicitors will guide you through every step of a claim, helping you to make informed choices about the best course of action to achieve the compensation that you deserve.

Any advice we give to you is in confidence. Once we’ve considered the information you have given us about your injury we will advise you on whether we think there is a claim to pursue. The final decision as to whether to make a claim will be entirely yours.

 

Why choose Thompsons?

Thompsons Solicitors secures hundreds of millions of pounds in damages each year and helps put clients in touch with specialist services that can support them through a difficult period in their lives. We are proud to have more experience of winning personal injury claims than any other law firm. We also differ from other law firms because we only ever act on behalf of the injured and mistreated, and never for insurance firms or employers.

Our specialist military injury solicitors understand the complex nature of cases involving military personnel and have significant expertise winning civil cases against the Ministry of Defence and helping serving personnel to navigate the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

We are proud to have legal representation on the Royal British Legion Solicitors’ Group and to regularly provide assistance to injured service personnel attending Headley Court.

 

Start a military injury claim

Beginning your claim with Thompsons Solicitors is quick and simple – you can call 0800 0 224 224, ask one of our experts to call you back or fill in our no-obligation claim form.

Start a claim