If you have taken on a job in the military, then you will have already accepted that your job may be higher risk than many other jobs, however just because it is a high risk job, it does not mean that accidents or injuries should be seen as just a normal hazard of the job.
It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence to ensure that risks are minimised wherever possible, especially when you are in a non-combat situation. If you have become the victim of an avoidable military accident, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. If your injury occurred during combat, you may also be able to make a claim to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
Are all military injuries eligible?
It is not possible to make military accident claims against all injuries which are suffered in this line of work. Military employees must acknowledge that there are certain risks involved with live combat scenarios, and that injuries can be an inevitable outcome. In the majority of cases which involve injuries sustained during live combat, it is not possible to make this type of claim; however other forms of compensation may be available to you from the MoD.
If you have received an injury outside of combat, then it may be possible to make a military accident claim. This can include injuries sustained whilst completing assault course training, mountaineering exercises, fast-roping or any other training exercise. You may also be able to make a claim for accidents involving military vehicles, including road traffic accidents and aviation injuries.
Any injuries which you sustain in live combat scenarios which have been caused by faulty equipment or inadequate risk protection may also be covered, so you should consult with a legal professional to see whether you could make a claim. For example, cold related injuries, weapon malfunctions or parachuting accidents may all be covered.
Using a dedicated military injury claims advisor
If you do want to make a claim for compensation for a military injury, it is best to visit a specialist who has had previous experience of dealing with this sort of claim. Because military accident claims can be slightly different to standard civil claims, it is better to speak to an expert, in order to maximise your chances of receiving a fair amount of compensation. Even if you are not eligible to make a civil claim for military injuries, if you talk to a specialist about your needs, they may be able to help you to make a claim through the formal Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
In addition to helping you to gain the compensation that you deserve, a specialist lawyer will also work with the military to encourage them to improve conditions to prevent similar accidents from happening again.
It should also be important to take note that you DO NOT have to wait until you leave military service to make a claim. The best approach is to generally start any claim straight away if at all possible rather than put it off until a later date.