How Much Compensation Can I Claim For An Injury Against The Military Or Armed Forces?
A career in the military or armed forces can be both honourable and a great privilege. However, it is commonly regarded as a very dangerous career and you might find yourself sustaining an injury in the workplace. Following a workplace accident, even in such a career, you might be wondering whether you are entitled to compensation. It’s an understandable line of thought and one which this guide will seek to clarify.
As with any other employer, the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Navy (as well as other branches of the the army or armed forces) have the same obligation to provide a safe environment for all employees. In this case, military personnel and other employees who have suffered an injury could be liable for compensation. In many cases, their rights are remarkably similar to those of civilians. Accident victims who belong to the military or the armed forces might be permitted to launch a case for damages.
Historically speaking, however, such cases have been more difficult than their civilian counterparts. Thankfully, new legislation means that victims of accidents who have suffered an injury are now able to make a claim against the armed forces. Laws such as these exist to protect you from harm and injury in the workplace. This guide will help you understand your rights.
Select a section
- A guide to military or armed forces accident claims.
- What is a military or armed forces accident?
- What to do if you have been involved in a military or armed forces accident?
- Claiming compensation for a military or armed forces accident as an enlisted person.
- The military and armed forces compensation scheme.
- Claiming compensation for a military or armed forces accident in a public place.
- Judging the seriousness of a military or armed forces accident.
- How to begin a military or armed forces compensation claim.
- What can be claimed for after a military or armed forces accident?
- How much compensation will i get for a military or armed forces accident?
- No win no fee military or armed forces accident claims.
- Why choose us as your claims service for a military or armed forces accident claim?
- Call for free advice and to start a claim.
An accident leading to an injury can be a confusing time. In this guide, you will find comprehensive information regarding how a military or armed forces accident is defined and the actions that should be taken should you sustain an injury. This guide will help you understand what to do if you have received an injury in the workplace and guide you in the right direction should you decide to claim. You will learn about the many types of injuries (physical anguish as well as mental anguish) that you may sustain while serving your country, either currently, or as a veteran.
The guide will attempt to cover the following topics:
- What is a military accident?
- How to make a claim.
- The different types of injuries you can make a claim against.
- How much compensation you might be owed.
- The laws which exist to protect you as an employee.
- Advice for reaching out to a law firm should you decide to make a claim.
Once equipped with this information, you should be better placed to decide whether you wish to pursue a claim with a view towards winning compensation.
The Crown Proceeding (Armed Forces) Act 1987 allows for military personnel to claim compensation for an injury if it is determined that the Ministry of Defence failed in its duty to provide a healthy, safe work environment.
While some might consider front line action the only capacity in which one might face danger during a career in the armed forces, this is not true. There are many, many ways in which you might be injured and many such situations might appear to be entirely innocuous. As they pertain to this guide, military or armed forces accidents can be defined as injuries sustained while undergoing training or while serving your country in many different capacities. Thanks to our experience, we have put together a list of the following scenarios in which people have sustained an injury:
- Strenuous exercise or training .
- Exercising in the United Kingdom and abroad.
- Explosions, both intentional and accidental.
- Falling from an elevated structure on assault course or in another location.
- Vehicular accident.
- Mountaineering accident.
- Travelling around a military base by either a vehicle or on foot.
- Faulty weaponry, faulty machinery, and faulty equipment.
- Parachuting accident.
This list is by no means complete but should provide some indication of the various ways in which you might sustain an injury.
The time immediately after an accident can be difficult. Not only should you be seeking medical advice and treatment, but there is a big question mark over what needs to be done next. If you believe that the accident was not your fault, then the following steps might prove to be hugely helpful. They go as follows:
Step 1: Take photos of the area in which you sustained your injury. As well as the actual site of the incident, photographs of the surrounding area can be highly illustrative and informative.
Step 2: Be sure to get the contact details of any possible witnesses. This can include names, telephone numbers, postal and email addresses, and so on.
Step 3: Visit a doctor and get a medical exam. A medical statement that accurately explains the injury and the pain you may be feeling after sustaining your injury can be very helpful in assessing whether you might be due compensation.
Step 4: Take a moment to draft as complete a written statement as you possibly can. Write down everything which you can remember, which can include (but is not limited to):
- Your activities and movements in the moments leading up to the accident.
- Any contextual details such as the nature of your journey, the weather, the reason you happened to be in the area, etc.
- Exact information regarding the time and the date of the accident.
- Any follow up information regarding your condition, such as the time and date of visits to doctors and the noticing of new symptoms.
When the time comes to help you assess the claim, our team will pour over this evidence. The more you have, the better a foundation we can build from. Given the stress faced by many in the aftermath of an accident, knowing what to do next can be difficult. Following these steps, however, could prove to be invaluable.
If you have sustained an injury while serving in the military or armed forces, the approach you will take in claiming your compensation will differ from that of a typical (civilian) personal injury claim. There will be two main options you may choose from in seeking compensation for your injury. The two options are:
- Making a claim through the AFCS
- Making a civil claim
The AFCS was created specifically to deal with accidents and injuries and is different in that it does not place the utmost importance on finding fault in cases such as these. Rather, the important factor is that an employee has either suffered an injury or has contracted a sickness. Blame, thanks to legislation such as this, becomes less of a factor and the injured party must simply prove that the injury was suffered while serving.
However, should you decide to pursue a civil claim, it may be required to prove that an employer (in this case, the armed forces or the military) was negligent and that their negligence led to the accident. When seeking armed forces scheme payouts following an injury, this difference is significant. So what are the advantages of the AFCS compared to typical civilian cases?
The advantage of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS):
- You have 7 years to make a claim for an injury. This is very beneficial as it may take time for you to correlate particular pains with an incident that occurred many years ago.
- There is no need to deduce which party is at fault.
The disadvantage of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme:
Certain injuries will prove extremely problematic in making a claim. These injuries involve:
- injuries sustained by non-authorised sports activity.
- injuries sustained at a social event.
- slipping, tripping, or falling.
- injuries that were sustained because of the use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs or consensual intercourse.
The advantage of a civil claim:
- You can make a claim against any form of injury sustained in the workplace (this includes the military service).
- You may be able to claim damages other than those outlined by the AFCS.
The disadvantage of a civil claim:
- Like all civilians, you will have three years from the date of your injury to make a claim for your injury.
- Proving that you were not at fault is much more difficult than in AFCS cases.
Under the AFCS, the time frame in which you are able to make a claim with Veterans UK (renamed from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency) is 7 years starting from the date of the accident. This is important because:
- If the injury you sustained or the sickness that has been contracted only becomes apparent years after the accident, you can still make a claim.
- If you only realise that extant conditions and symptoms can be attributed to the accident years later, you are still able to make a claim.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) offers compensation for pain and suffering as specified by armed forces compensation scheme tariffs. In certain cases, this compensation may take the form of a monthly payment which is noted as a result of your discharge. The scheme has been in effect since April, 2005. Injuries sustained before this date are typically dealt with by the War Pension Scheme.
It should be noted that the AFCS deals only with providing compensation for pain and suffering. Further damages are not awarded through this scheme. This could include travel expenses or specialist treatments. Furthermore, compensation is arranged through specific, pre-set tariffs.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is not applicable to every scenario in which you might have suffered an injury. While the vast majority of cases are suitable for inclusion in the AFCS, civil cases also have their place. This is particularly true of incidents which occur in public places, away from the active line of duty. In these instances, a civil claim can be made up to three years after the initial accident. Public places, in this instance, can include (but are not limited to) places such as
- Hotels or Motels
- A Movie Theatre
Typically, injuries suffered in public places will result in civil cases. As such, they do not simply cover pain and suffering. They also include loss of earnings, treatment costs, and other damages. Unlike the AFCS, compensation is not fixed. Rather, final amounts can vary. As such, there is a great deal of added complexity. Discussing the case with a solicitor is the best option when evaluating your options.
Should you decide to seek compensation, you must understand how severe the injury is, as this will impact how much you will be compensated. Diagnosing the seriousness of an injury takes many factors into consideration, including the level of pain being suffered, the time the injury takes to heal, and the impact which it has on your day-to-day life.
For minor injuries, you might receive a smaller amount. For major injuries (such as the loss of motor functions or an amputation), you might receive more as this would be considered a more severe injury. If you chose to meet with us or have a free conversation about your case, we can help you establish the seriousness of your injuries and, thus, provide an estimate regarding potential compensation.
As in civilian life, making a compensation claim can be complex. This is why many people turn to solicitors in order to help them navigate the difficult legal terrain. With cases involving the military and the armed forces, however, matters can become even more complicated. In simple terms, there are two ways in which claims are initiated:
- If you have been medically discharged, then Veterans UK might help establish a contribution to you automatically. However, this depends on the circumstances that led up to you being discharged for medical reasons.
- Alternatively, fill out an Armed Forces Compensation claim form.
The added complexity of cases involving the armed forces and the military means that many victims are unsure of which route suits them best. There are many factors to consider, to the point where finding a single answer on your own becomes incredibly difficult. In situations such as this, expert legal advice can be invaluable.
Hence, we offer a free consultation session in which we can outline your options and layout the process in simple, easy to understand terms. What’s more, should you decide to proceed, we can operate on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. If you want to learn how to initiate a compensation claim, our legal advice is indispensable.
Once you have decided to pursue compensation, one of the biggest questions you will have will likely relate to what exactly you can claim in a case. In civil cases, especially, the types of damages you can claim will be highly variable and entirely dependent on the specific nature of your case.
Listed below are the most common examples of what many people claim for:
- General damages – includes the pain and suffering you have experienced or experience on a daily basis. It also includes the mental and emotional damage you may be suffering as a result of your injury. Mental health claims such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are included in this. PTSD is often found in soldiers who have experienced incredibly traumatising events. Depending on the circumstances, an armed forces compensation scheme PTSD payout can exceed cases involving physical injury. A related condition is depression, sometimes as a result of bullying. Conditions such as these are damaging to your mental health and you can be compensated accordingly.
- Care claim – includes any help you may have needed following the accident or still require long after the accident. For example, if you have needed help around the house, assistance in going outdoors, or someone to feed and bathe you. Care claims can help pay for these services.
- Loss of earnings – includes the money you could have earned had you not sustained an injury. You can be reimbursed for the weeks or months that you were absent due to the injury you sustained.
- Travel expenses – includes any travel costs that were incurred because of your accident. For example, if you sustained an injury and had to take a taxi drive to the hospital, this is a cost that can be reimbursed. This will also include any scheduled visits to the hospital, bus and train tickets, and fuel costs.
- Medical expenses – includes any treatments that you may have required after your accident. This includes physiotherapy, as well as any potential private healthcare treatments you received.
In a civil case, these damages and many more can be addressed. Often, it is the injury itself which is the greatest deciding factor. In the next section, we will examine how severity and specificity of an injury can affect the eventual compensation total.
The amount you may receive for your military or Armed Forces compensation claims is dependent upon how severe the injury is that you have sustained. Included below is a table of compensation claims amounts for the different injuries you may have sustained as a result of the accident. Using the Armed Forces Compensation scheme calculator you will be able to estimate how much you may be compensated.
An additional factor that will determine how much you can be compensated for your injury is called the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Tariff which is a ranking system that determines how severe the injury is that you have sustained and how much you may be compensated for it.
The AFCS uses a grading system in which injuries numbered (1) are the most severe and those numbered (15) are the most minor injuries. Each of these numbers is placed in a ‘band’ which determines how great a percentage of the claim they will receive monthly. The bands are:
- Band A – You receive 100% of your future earnings (which include pension and salary). You are incapable of going back to work due to the seriousness of your injury.
- Band B – You receive 75% of your future earnings. You are able to work but your capacity to work is significantly reduced.
- Band C – You receive 50% of your future earnings. You will be able to work but you are only able to work half of the time.
- Band D – You will receive 30% of your future earnings. You will be able to work, though your time at work will be reduced.
- Band E – No GIP is awarded as the injury does not interfere with your job.
There are nine types of tables categories that the tariff of injury tables includes:
- Table 1 – includes burns.
- Table 2 – include injuries, wounds, and scarring.
- Table 3 – include mental health conditions.
- Table 4 – include physical disorders (ailments and infectious diseases).
- Table 5 – include amputations.
- Table 6 – include any neurological disorder (this also includes spinal, head, or brain injuries).
- Table 7 – includes injuries affecting your senses.
- Table 8 – include any fractures or dislocations.
- Table 9 – includes musculoskeletal disorders.
Tables function as categories of injuries. Within the respective tables, the injury will be assessed and matched to a specific tariff. This tariff will then correspond to a band, which dictates the eventual payout. Listed below is the AFCS tariff table 2016:
|Tariff||Current Award||Level of GIP Awarded|
Let’s take a look at some examples of injuries, matching the injury with the tariff level.
|Burn that cause scars||15||Up to £79,700|
|Burns that lead to loss of motor functions||6||Dependent upon body part burned.|
|Injury or wound causing scarring||14||Up to £79,700|
|Mental Disorder||1||£41,675 to £88,000
|Ailments and Infectious Diseases||Up to £103,250|
|Amputation||9||Up to £228,000|
|Spinal Injury (Minor)||6||Up to £9,500
|Spinal Injury (Severe)||6||£29,475 to £122,350
|Head Injury||1||Up to £307,000|
|Fractures of bones||4||Up to £103,250|
|Open fracture of bone||14||Up to £103,250|
|Minor Loss of Motor Skills||11||£32,725 to £166,500
|Complete Loss of Motor Skills||5||£246,750 to £307,000
As shown above, how severe the injury is, is a key factor in determining how much you will be compensated. In receiving your compensation there are two ways in which you may receive your compensation. These are:
- Lump Sum Payout
For any injury you may have sustained or any sickness you may have contracted, you will be given the full lump sum. This means the compensation will arrive as a single payment. When receiving this compensation from the AFCS, the money you receive is tax-free. The average lump sum ranges from £1,200 – £570,000.
- Guaranteed Income Payments (GIP)
Under this method, you will be paid on a monthly basis. The income you receive will also be tax-free. Under this method, a number of factors are taken into account when deciding the amount that will be paid monthly.
Finally, you might find yourself asking, when initiating the armed forces compensation scheme how long does it take? The time frame in which you will receive your compensation is, again, based on how serious the injury is and the complexity of your case. It can take anything from a few weeks to a few months to complete.
Following a serious injury or an accident, making a claim for compensation might be the last thing on your mind. It can be a difficult process, both costly and confusing. This is not helped by the added complexity of involving the military or armed forces. In cases such as this, our law firm can be a tremendous help.
We are able to offer our clients a ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement. In situations such as this, when you are concerned about the financial implications of making a claim, you can rest assured that there is no up front cost. If you would like to learn more about how much easier our legal representation can make your life, you can call us today.
With all of this in mind, why should you chose our law firm to represent you? It’s a fair question. Claiming compensation can be a huge part of your life and you will want to be assured that you have the best legal minds assisting you in this matter. Our years of experience, our ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement, our expertise, and our friendly customer service add together to keep our clients happy and satisfied. It’s easy to find out why we’re trusted by our clients – all you need to do is call us today and get chatting to our team. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve and there’s no one better to have in your corner. If you would like further information, we can also provide the Veterans UK contact number.
Following any injury sustained in the military or armed forces, you want to be sure that you have the best legal representation when seeking compensation. That’s exactly what we offer. You can reach out to us for a free consultation at any time. All you have to do is call 0800 073 8804 and speak with one of our representatives
We are more than willing to help you with your claim so call today and chat to our team.