A Comprehensive Guide to Military Compensation Claims

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

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As a member of the military, you may have developed various medical conditions/injuries as a consequence of accidents in the workplace.

While many people seem to differentiate the employment rights of those in the Armed Forces against those in traditional business, they are all due to the same level of protection in the eyes of the law.

What Compensation Value Can I Claim for a Military Injury?

If you're injured in the military - whether during deployment or on base - you will be able to claim compensation. The amount of compensation will vary based on your injury and how it impacts your work.

So, if you have been injured as a consequence of your military actions/training, then you may be entitled to compensation.

Over the years, we have seen many high-profile military injury claims pursued through the courts. While there are obvious unique dangers when undertaking military manoeuvres, this does not remove any legal or moral obligation from your ultimate employers.

As a consequence, if you were able to prove negligence in relation to an accident/injury, you may well have a valid claim for compensation.

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What Are the Most Common Military Injury Claims?

If there is one sector which covers just about every type of injury you could name it would be the military.

Typical injuries include:-

  • Amputated limbs
  • Burns
  • Muscle strains
  • PTSD
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Head trauma
  • Death

As well as the dangers on the battlefield, we know that training is very intense with battlefield conditions often replicated. In a training scenario, it should be possible to introduce various levels of safety, but sometimes these protections can fail.

What Are the Most Common Military Accidents?

When you bear in mind that some military personnel could be seconded to any part of the world in a matter of hours, there is scope for many different types of accident. These tend to include:-

  • Injuries as a consequence of constant lifting/loading
  • Accidents when undertaking general maintenance of equipment
  • Injuries received when parachuting, diving, skiing and climbing
  • Accidents on training exercises
  • Injuries when boarding and navigating ships, tanks and other equipment

It is fair to say that some of these scenarios are exclusive to the military sector, but that does not remove the employer from their legal obligations over health and safety.

Should My Employer Carry Out Regular Risk Assessments?

Yes. It could be argued that this type of environment requires the most in-depth and regular risk assessments of all working scenarios. The assessment will identify particular risks and ways in which they can be removed or mitigated.

There will obviously be certain scenarios that carry an inherent degree of risk, but this should be managed as much as possible, and individuals made aware of the situation. These risk assessments should be documented and are often used to show that risks were assessed and the relevant action taken.

Remember, the onus is on the claimant to prove the defendant (in this case, the UK government) was negligent, which led to the accident.

How Often Should Equipment Be Checked and Maintained?

We know that defective equipment has been at the centre of many compensation claims in recent years. The risks are often exacerbated where munitions, specialist vehicles and specialist equipment is used.

It’s also worth noting that your employer is duly obliged to provide the relevant safety equipment to ensure the well-being of military personnel. Some of the more common claims involving defective equipment include substandard/lack of:-

  • Ear/eye protection
  • PPE
  • Climbing equipment
  • Parachute equipment
  • All-terrain vehicles
  • Weapons/ammunition

At this point, it is worth mentioning that employees (military personnel) also have an obligation to follow strict procedures, not only for their well-being but also that of their colleagues.

Can I Claim Compensation if I Was Partly to Blame?

We can only estimate the number of perfectly valid compensation claims involving partial negligence that have been dropped or never even considered. It may be that you were not following procedures to the book, but perhaps the procedure was difficult to understand or out of date.

In this type of situations, yes, you may well be held partially responsible, but your employer may also be found partly negligent. As a consequence, you would likely receive a percentage of any compensation award, based upon the shared negligence ruling.

How Do I Pursue Compensation?

When looking to pursue a military compensation claim, you will need to provide evidence to show negligence. The type of evidence used in military claims is often very different from that in traditional working environments.

It might include:-

  • Details of risk assessments
  • Information relating to machinery/equipment checks
  • Substandard procedural guidance
  • Lack of relevant training
  • Use of inexperienced personnel
  • Outdated/unsafe equipment
  • Lack of PPE
  • Timeline of events
  • Details of your post-accident pain and suffering
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Medical records
  • Evidence of similar incidents

It is not difficult to see the huge range of evidence that may be required to pursue different military compensation claims.

Is It Morally Right to Sue the Military for Compensation?

It is easy to forget that those serving in the military have as much legal protection as those working in the civilian business arena. If you have been injured as a consequence of negligence by the military, this may impact your ability to work, regular income stream, not to mention a knock-on effect on your family life.

Therefore, in this scenario, you are perfectly entitled to compensation.

There is also another issue that is often overlooked. Unless negligent third parties and procedures are held to account, then nothing is likely to change. As a consequence, the type of accident and injuries you were exposed to will continue to happen time and time again. The next person may not be as lucky; they may die.

What Are the General and Special Damages?

When pursuing compensation, you will come across the terms of general damages and special damages. General damages relate to financial compensation as a consequence of your pain and suffering.

Special damages relate to costs incurred, future costs and other issues such as loss of income going forward. Cumulatively general damages and special damages can occur in some circumstances, total hundreds of thousands of pounds if not into the millions.

Do I Need Professional Help to Pursue Compensation?

Personal injury claims companies have experience in pursuing a whole range of different injuries received as a consequence of alleged negligence. They know the information required; how this must be presented and should be fully up to speed with all legal technicalities which can sometimes see valid claims fail.

If you have a strong case, you would likely be offered a “no win no fee” arrangement which removes your liability to prosecution costs.

Summary

Even when pursuing the most obvious claims of negligence, it can be helpful to use the services of a personal injury claims company. In borderline cases, they may be a difference between success and failure. When pursuing more obvious claims, they will be able to negotiate the best terms, especially with out-of-court settlements.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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