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Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

Claiming Compensation For Armed Forces Medical Negligence

By Daniel Pritchard. Last Updated 27th July 2021. This is our guide to armed forces medical negligence claims. In it, we look at military medical negligence and suing the military for negligence. In other words, how to make a claim for compensation.

On this page, you will find a full guide to the legal process of making a compensation claim for cases of armed forces medical negligence. If you have suffered due to clinical negligence on the part of a military doctor, you probably already know that you can make a compensation claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS). What you may not know, is that you can also make a personal injury claim directly against the armed forces, which could result in a higher amount of damages being awarded. This guide covers the second option, a privately pursued claim.

Legal Expert has the kind of knowledge and experience that is needed to take on a major organisation such as the Army, Air Force, Navy or Ministry of Defence (MOD) and win. Call us on 0800 073 8804 today and find out how we can help you. Or, you could use the live-chat window in the bottom right of your screen. Additionally, you can fill out our online form to see if you could have a claim.

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A Guide To Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claims

armed forces medical negligence claims

Armed forces medical negligence claims

Within this guide, you will find all of the information you will need in order to educate yourself about the legal process that your solicitor will follow when making a compensation claim for armed forces medical negligence on your behalf. It looks at claims for medical negligence in the armed forces and covers information such as a doctor’s duty of care towards their patients, the main causes of medical negligence, and an overview of what the defence medical service is.

It also covers general information about personal injury claims such as the kind of damages you can expect to claim, how much you might receive in compensation, and an overview of the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) offers to victims of armed forces clinical negligence as a simple, effective and risk-free way to make such a claim. You may know this agreement as a No Win No Fee claim.

Once you have read this guide, if you feel you are ready to begin your claim or have additional questions you need to be answered, you can call Legal Expert on the telephone number in the last section of this guide, and we will do our best to help you.

What Is Medical Negligence?

When can medical negligence claims be made in the military? In this guide, we will look at suing the military for negligence. The result can be an injury or an illness. Most medical negligence claims in the UK each year are settled out of court. To achieve this, a personal injury solicitor is often required to assist with the claim. 

Clinical negligence is deemed to have occurred whenever a doctor fails in their duty of care towards the patient and instead causes harm through error, accident, omission or oversight. This can be related to treatment, diagnosis, surgical procedures and nursing care.

If you need to make a personal injury claim for clinical negligence as a member of the armed forces, Legal Expert can assist you. Call us on the telephone number at the bottom of this guide to find out how.

Types Of Medical Negligence In The Armed Forces

Serving in the armed forces carries with it inherent risks. However, some may overlook the dangers that are present to those in the military even when they’re not in battle. Soldiers need to have high levels of physical fitness in order to serve. Therefore, their training exercises tend to be quite rigorous. Some of these exercises may just be carried out to improve fitness, but some may attempt to simulate various scenarios they could find themselves in.

Because of this, it’s not uncommon for injuries to be sustained even during training. So, it’s important that excellent medical care is available for those who require it. Medical negligence that occurs when treating members of the military can still be claimed for, just as in a civilian hospital.

The graph below shows the number of fatalities that have occurred as a result of military training exercises in the UK between January 2000 and February 2021. Whilst it doesn’t state how many (if any) of these deaths were due to medical negligence during treatment, it does emphasise the need for quality medical care that’s required to treat the injured members of the armed forces.

armed forces medical negligence claims graph

What Are The Different Types Of Military Medical Negligence Claims?

There are a number of reasons that you may need to engage a personal injury lawyer to make a claim due to a failure in duty of care by a military doctor. Your personal injury solicitor should be able to help you claim damages in cases where the negligence case caused harm such as:

  • Psychological damage – such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or long-term depression and anxiety.
  • Permanent disability – if the clinical negligence has left you with a long-term or permanent injury that will lower your quality of life.
  • Exacerbated or existing injuries – if a doctor has failed to take into account previous medical conditions, which has led to them becoming worse.

If your claim fits into one of these boxes, then Legal Expert can likely help you claim. Call us at the phone number in the last section of this guide to find out how.

What Duty Of Care Is Owed By The Armed Forces?

When it comes to suing MOD for negligence, then a requirement of making a successful claim will be proving they the medical personnel involved in the case failed in their duty of claim.

Every specialist, doctor, therapist and member of the nursing and care staff owe a duty of care to their patients. This means that they must do everything to help the patient, and nothing to harm them at all times. When this duty of care is not met, clinical negligence will be deemed to have occurred. Examples of failure of duty of care including:

  • Care accidents, such as not providing sufficient care and attention, leading to a patient suffering an injury caused by a slip, trip or fall.
  • Wrongful administration of medications, such as prescribing the wrong type of medication or the wrong dose.
  • Badly or wrongly administered treatment, such as providing the wrong treatment or making a mistake in providing the right treatment.
  • Diagnosis errors, such as a wrong diagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis causing the patient’s medical condition to go untreated.
  • Surgical errors, such as mistakes and accidents that happened during an operation.

If you have suffered harm due to a medical professional failing in their duty of care, you could be able to claim compensation. Legal Expert will be able to tell you whether you have a valid claim, call us on the telephone number at the bottom of this guide to find out.

What Caused Your Medical Negligence?

We covered the cases of army medical negligence that are caused by a failure in duty of care in the previous section. There is, however, one additional way that medical negligence can occur, and one which large organisations such as the military is particularly prone to.

These are failures in the system and process in place to protect the health of service members. When healthcare protocols fail, this can heal to harm to the patient that was not caused by any negligence on the part of a specific medical professional or group of medical professionals.

If the care system operated by the armed forces has led to you, a patient, being harmed, then a cause to claim compensation could well exist. Call Legal Expert on the telephone number at the end of this guide to find out.

What Are The Defence Medical Service?

All health care in the services falls under the remit of the Defence Medical Services (DMS). This includes medical, surgical, psychological and therapeutic care. The DMS is operated by the MOD alongside the National Health Service (NHS). Care is provided via both NHS facilities and also Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHU).

Due to this complex organisational structure, proving that there has been a case of army negligence that can be claimed for can be difficult. Legal Expert can help with this. Call us at the number at the end of this guide to find out how.

How And When To Make Claims Against The Military

There are three vehicles that when contacting military lawyers UK servicemen could indicate as a preference for making the claim. The best way to make claims against the military is to make a personal claim, the process for which has been covered in detail within this guide. However, the guide would not be complete without describing the other two ways a person can make a claim.

The first is the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS). The AFCS will pay claims that have occurred since April 2005, and the serviceman has up to 7 years to make a claim against the AFCS.

The second is the War Pension System (WPS) and this covers all claims prior to April 2005. However, the ability to claim against the WPS is driven by the circumstances of the person’s discharge from military service.

Legal Expert can answer any questions you might have about the AFCS or WPS, all you need to do is give us a call on the telephone number at the bottom of this guide so that we can help you further.

What Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claims Can Include

When you make a military injury compensation claim and are suing the British army for clinical negligence, any settlement you receive will be made up of several types of damages. These will fall into the overall categories of general and special damages, including but in no way limited to:

  • Special damages:
    • Travel costs
    • Medical fees
    • Loss of current earnings
    • Loss of future income
    • Other ad-hoc financial losses
  • General damages:
    • Pain and suffering
    • Psychological damage
    • Long-term treatment
    • Permanent disabilities

For a more accurate indication of just what types of damages you might be able to claim in your own case, contact Legal Expert on the telephone number at the bottom of this guide to find out.

Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claims Calculator

We have not included a personal injury claims calculator on this page for a reason. These automated tools are usually extremely inaccurate and give people a wrong indication of how much they can expect to receive in damages for their claim. Instead, we have provided this table that shows amounts paid historically for different images that formed part of military claims.

InjurySeverityNotesAmount
P.T.S.DSevereThe effects of the P.T.S.D will have a serious effect on the life of the victim for a very long time.£56,180 to £94,470
P.T.S.DModerate to severeThe effects of the P.T.S.D will have a serious effect on the life of the victim for a long time.£21,730 to £56,180
P.T.S.DModerateThe effects of the P.T.S.D will have a serious effect on the life of the victim for a fairly very long time.£7,680 to £21,730
P.T.S.DLess severeThe effects of the P.T.S.D will have a serious effect on the life of the victim for a short time.£3,710 to £7,680
Psychiatric issuesModeratePsychological issues including but not limited to depression, anxiety and fear that will last for quite a while.£5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric issuesLess severePsychological issues including but not limited to depression, anxiety and fear that will last only a short time.£1,440 to £5,500
An injured thumbMinor to severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to complete amputation of a thumb.Up to £51,460
Toe injuryModerate to severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to complete amputation of a toe.Up to £52,620
Ankle injuryMinor to severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to complete loss of use of the ankle.Up to £65,420
Foot injuryMinor to very severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to complete amputation of a foot.Up to £102,890
Leg injuryMinor to severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to complete amputation of a leg.Up to £129,010
Neck injuryMinor to severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to completely dilapidating disabilities.Up to £139,210
Back injuryMinor to severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to completely dilapidating disabilities.Up to £151,070
Hand injuryMinor to seriousThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to complete amputation of a hand.Up to £102,890
Wrist injuryMinor to severeThis level of injury will range from simple damage such as cuts and bruising, all the way up to complete loss of use of a wrist.Up to £56,180

To get a better idea of how much military solicitors might be able to claim for you, then call us here at Legal Expert on the telephone number that you will find down towards the bottom of this guide.

No Win No Fee Military Medical Negligence Claims

If you are a serviceman who needs to make a claim for medical negligence, then Legal Expert offers a No Win No Fee style service.

You will be asked to pay nothing at all when you start the claim, and even if your claim takes us several months or more to pursue on your behalf, we won’t ask you to pay anything. If for some unlikely reason, we actually fail to successfully claim damages on your behalf, then we will cancel all outstanding fees. However, once we have made a claim for you, and you have received the payment, we will expect you to pay our charges. This payment is made to use via a small fee taken from your payout. This fee is kept small my law, to protect the majority of the money you’re awarded.

How We Can Help Current And Former Members Of The Military

Legal Expert has access to a panel of solicitors with masses of experience in claiming the maximum level of damages possibly across a very wide range of complex claims cases.

We have the experience needed to go up against large organisations such as the MOD and win the case. We will always keep you informed about everything we are doing on your behalf, ensuring you understand the processes involved, and not confusing you with legal jargon.

Call us on the telephone number that you will find below so that we can begin to help you make your claim.

Talk To Us Today

We hope our guide to medical negligence claims in the armed forces has helped you. If you are or have been a member of the Army, Navy or RAF, and feel you have a cause to claim for medical negligence, then call us on 0800 073 8804 today. We will spend some time looking over your claim, then let you know what we think you should do next.

Useful Links

There may be other reasons for suing mod for negligence. You can find related guides here. At the link we have given you below, you will find a guide to making claims for post-traumatic stress disorder:

Post-traumatic stress disorder claims

At the link we have given you below, you will find a guide to making claims for psychological injuries:

Psychological injury claims

At the link we have given you below, you will find information published by Kings College London regarding research into military health care:

Kings College London research on military healthcare

At the link we have given you below, you will find information provided by NHS Choices about healthcare for members of the armed forces:

Armed forces healthcare information from NHS Choices

At the link below you can find our updated guide to hospital negligence compensation claims.

Hospital Negligence Claims

Find out your rights if you experience medical negligence in a hospital.

What Is a Litigation Friend?

Find out more about appointing someone else to pursue a claim on someone else’s behalf.

Armed Forces Medical Negligence Claim FAQs

Armed forces personal work in dangerous and testing environments. If you are injured you need to be treated with the best possible medical care. If military medical negligence has caused you harm, you could be able to claim compensation. Our team could help you.

Isn’t being injured in the army part of the job?

Whilst serving as a member of the armed forces carries inherent dangers, you still have the right to be kept safe as much as possible. The MoD still owes you a duty of care to ensure your health and safety in the workplace.

As a member of the armed forces you have the right to expect that you will be protected from harm (as much as is reasonably possible). This extends to ensuring you get the correct medical care.

Will claiming harm my military career?

Suing the military for negligence should not impact your career. The MoD knows that whilst every care is taken with medical services, negligence can happen. The MoD also recognises that service personal have the right to claim compensation for military medical negligence. Doing so should not impact your career or entitlement to things such as pensions.

Thank you for reading our guide on armed forces medical negligence claims.

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