Military Accident Claims

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The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is responsible for the safety of its employees in the same way as any other employer would be.  But by the nature of the work they do military personnel are at more risk from injury and fatal incidents than other workers.  The MOD cannot be sued for injuries sustained during military conflict but they are responsible for ensuring that employees receive sufficient training, supervision, appropriate safety equipment and are supervised by sufficiently qualified colleagues.  It is the MODs duty to limit the likelihood of a military accident.

Military personnel work in a variety of dangerous environments and often with very dangerous equipment.  Military personnel may be injured whilst on active service but their training (e.g. sports instruction or simulated military combat training) can also be very dangerous.  They work with conventional weapons but often also with chemicals.

Making Military Accident Claims

Claims for military accidents are extremely complicated and in the case of this type of claim, it is essential to consult an experienced injury lawyer.  There is generally a 3-year time limit from the date the injury was sustained to make a claim for compensation.  However, if the claimant is not considered to be mentally able to deal with the claim within 3 years the rule is sometimes relaxed.

Military Compensation & Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

Military personnel can also claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation (overseas) Scheme.  This scheme would compensate personnel who have been victims of deliberate criminal violence whilst working overseas.  Therefore, allowing the victim to claim the equivalent compensation to a victim of crime in their home country.

Types Of Military Accident Compensation Claims

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  • Soldier Compensation Claims
  • Navy Compensation Claims
  • Claims against RAF
  • Claims against MOD
  • Compensation Claims Against Army

Compensation Claims Against RAF

If you have suffered a personal injury or an industrial disease while employed by the RAF for an accident which was not your fault, you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.


Employer’s duty of care

All employers owe a duty of care to their employees, meaning they should take all reasonable steps to ensure their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing whilst carrying out their duties while at work.

In basic terms, this means that they are required to ensure the workplace is safe, well maintained and that suitable equipment, protective wear and training is provided.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) as an employer owes the same duty of care to its personnel.


The Crown Proceedings Act

This Act prevents any personal injury or accident claim being made against the Ministry of Defence (MOD) arising from service prior to 15th May 1987. If you were injured prior to this date, you cannot make a claim. If your injury occurred after this date then you are able to make a claim. This has particular significance to those who may have been exposed to asbestos and whose symptoms have only just started to appear. The symptoms for asbestos-related illnesses often take many years to materialise. If a person suffered from asbestosis or similar and the exposure took place prior to 15th May 1987, no claim could be made against the MOD, even if they were at fault.


Making a personal injury claim

If an injury or illness was sustained whilst working in military service for the RAF, the same rules and procedures apply to any other personal injury claim against any other employer.

In order for a personal injury claim to be successful in a case such as this, not only do you need to prove a duty of care, it must also be established that this duty was breached and this caused the injury or industrial disease. This is the essential element of any personal injury claim.

It is, however, important to note that military personnel are precluded from making a claim for an injury caused as a direct result of an on-going conflict in which they were involved.


Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

If you suffered an injury after 6th April 2005 as a result of and during a conflict, you can make a claim for personal injury compensation under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. You can make a compensation claim under this scheme during or after your service, within a time limit of 7 years.

It’s important not to wait until you leave the RAF to make a claim under this scheme and to do so as soon as possible

In some cases, you may be able to claim through the compensation scheme and make a personal injury claim.

If you are unsure of what to do or what your rights are, you should contact specialist personal injury solicitors with experience in this area of the law.

If you have suffered a personal injury or an industrial disease while employed by the RAF for an accident which was not your fault, you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) as an employer owes the same duty of care to its personnel.

Claiming Compensation Against MOD

As a member of the armed forces you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim against the Ministry of Defence (MOD) should you have suffered an injury as a result of their negligence. The MOD has a responsibility to protect their employees, contractors and visitors.

Previous rules

Prior to 15th May 1987, any member of the armed forces who suffered personal injury as a result of their service was unable to make a compensation claim. This was down to the Crown Proceedings Act, which now no longer applies.

Circumstances when a claim can be made

If it can be shown by a personal injury solicitor that the British Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy was negligent and this caused you to suffer a personal injury, a compensation claim can be dealt with in the same manner as a claim involving a member of the public making a claim against their employer.

The only exception is if the injury was caused as a direct result of an active operation or ongoing conflict involving the military. In these circumstances, a claim would not be able to be pursued.

MOD Responsibilities

The MOD as an employer owes a duty of care to its employees which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Providing employees with the necessary machinery and tools to complete their jobs
  • Ensuring any machinery and tools are maintained in a safe condition
  • The provision of appropriate training
  • Making sure all employees are provided with any safety equipment required to complete their jobs

What should I do?

If you are or were a member of the armed services and you have suffered a personal injury following an accident which may have been caused by the negligence of the MOD, it’s vital that you contact personal injury solicitors with experience in this area.

Having heard the details of your case, they will assess all the options and potentially make a personal injury compensation claim on your behalf.

Armed Forces Compensation Claim

If your accident occurred later than 6th April 2005, you may also be entitled to make a compensation claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Compensation claims under this scheme are able to be made during or after service. If you’ve been injured it’s important not to wait until you leave the Armed Forces to bring your claim; you should act straight away.

The time limit to make a claim under the scheme is 7 years so it’s important to move quickly.

If you feel that you have cause to make a claim for compensation for an injury contact our team of accident claims solicitors today.

Have you had an accident? You could be entitled to compensation

If you’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. Our expert solicitors are waiting to hear from you to assess the validity of your claim.

Contact First Personal Injury to discuss your potential accident claim today on 0800 808 9740 or, alternatively, fill out our online form.


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