Armed Forces Compensation for Combat Accidents
If you are in a theatre of war or conflict after April 2006 you have three potential military accident claims;
- Compensation claim
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
ARMED FORCES NEGLIGENCE CLAIM
To be able to claim Armed Forces compensation, the military accident injury must have occurred in the last 3 years and as a result of someone else’s fault. To prove fault is a legal test and has to amount to someone being negligent.
Whilst generally you cannot sue the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for injuries sustained in a direct combat situation, the Ministry of Defence like all employers have a responsibility to protect their employees, this includes providing you with appropriate equipment which is in good working order, providing suitable training and supervision and a safe place and system of work.
In view of the recent development that military personnel fear for their careers if they sue the MOD, Hilary Meredith now has confirmation from Baroness Taylor, on behalf of the Government that:
“The military careers of Armed Forces personnel who claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or through the Courts should not suffer as a result of that claim.”
This is in response to Hilary Meredith’s Parlimentary question in the House of Lords 3rd December 2009.
Due the activities undertaken by the military, injuries can be sustained in many situations for example whilst on manoeuvres, during training exercises, as a result of a road traffic accident and taking part in sports and PT.
The accident compensation you will receive will reflect your pain and suffering as result of the injury and the emotional loss for being unable to continue in the armed forces.
On top of this if your career is affected by the injury you can recover damages for both past and future loss of earnings, pension loss, delay or loss of promotion plus associated benefits. For example if you are unable to deploy on operational detachments as a result of your injuries then a claim can be made for any allowances you are no longer entitled to such as LSSA. Many injuries have long term effects and compensation can be obtained to ensure that your needs are catered for in the future. For instance you may need ongoing medical treatment, care and assistance, adapted housing and other aids and equipment and damages can be recovered for these eventualities.
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
In addition to a civil claim for compensation you may be able to make a claim under the non fault Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) which covers all regular and reserve personnel whose injury, ill health or death was caused by service on or after the 6th April 2005.
Unlike a negligence claim, an award may still be made via the AFCS if your injury was caused during a combat situation.
A claim can be made whilst you are still serving and must be made within 7 years of the accident occurring and does not prevent you from bringing a civil claim at the same time.
If an application under the scheme is successful you will be paid a lump sum for your injury and depending on your injury you may qualify for a guaranteed income payment for life in a similar way to receiving a pension.
Some potential claimants are automatically entered into this scheme, if you are a widow/widower whose spouse has died in service or if you are medically discharged.
In these cases in particular you need to check if you also have a negligence claim as awards may be higher. If you have received multiple injuries as well the award under the AFCS is capped and you need to take advice.
CRIMINAL INJURIES (OVERSEAS) SCHEME
This scheme was specifically introduced to compensate military personnel if you are posted overseas and are the victim of a crime of violence you may be entitled to compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme (CICO).
It ensures that you will receive compensation in the same way as those injured as a result of a crime of violence in this country. An application must be made as soon as possible and counter-signed by your Commanding Officer within two years of the date of the incident.
It is a common misconception that you cannot bring a claim for compensation against the Ministry of Defence whilst you are still serving, this is incorrect. As stated above there are strict time limits for bringing a claim and it is important to take specialist legal advice as soon as possible after the injury is sustained. Not only to protect your right to claim but to also ensure that important evidence is not lost or destroyed, to prevent witnesses from becoming untraceable and memories fading. If you have suffered an injury in the last 3 years and would like advice please contact Hilary Meredith Solicitors for a free initial consultation or apply for an AFCS form or CIC(O)S application, on;- 0800 124 4444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Prove Fault||Time Limit from Accident||Whilst in Service||Accidents after||Damages|
|Negligence Claim||Yes||Within 3 yrs||Yes||Since 1987||Full Damages|
|AFCS||No||Within 7 yrs||Yes||06/04/2005||Max award for single injury Â£285,000 plus possible loss of earning capacity|
|CIC(O)||No||Within 2 yrs||Yes||-||Capped at Â£500,000|
To discuss your claim free of charge with our military accident team contact us on 0800 124 4444 or start your claim now.
Alternatively for further Armed Forces Compensation Claims information please click on the following links:
- Armed Forces Compensation Claims
- Military Accident
- Army and Military Training Accidents
- Headley Court Armed Forces Rehabilitation Centre
- Military Accidents Case Success Stories
- Military Accidents Claims Testimonials
- Military Accident Compensation FAQs
- Armed Forces Compensation claim Process
- Start Your Armed Forces Compensation Claim
- Military and Armed Forces Compensation Links
- Post Accident Check Lists