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Military Injury Claims

27th March 2009
By Jessica Parker in Military Law
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All employees in the UK have the same employment rights, and that is not brushed aside if your employer is the Ministry of Defence.

That means that if your employer is negligent and that negligence causes you to be injured, then you have the right to claim for compensation.

There is one caveat, however; military personnel cannot claim for injuries received before May 1987. Before then the Crown Proceedings Act prevented compensation claims from being made – meaning many injured servicemen were effectively denied the opportunity to be compensated.

Over the past 10 years, however, many members of military personnel have successfully claimed for compensation for injuries received during training or while in action.

A military claim can be made by an employee of the Royal Air Force, the Army or the Navy.

There are a number of situations where a military injury could take place; these include parachute jumping or explosives training; while using equipment that turns out to be faulty; or while driving heavy goods vehicles or operating heavy machinery.

Many military injuries do not occur in combat zones or on battlefields, but in training – in Britain or further afield.

An injury to servicemen can often mean that they have to take time away from the job that they love – it could even mean that they must give it up altogether and retrain for a new life and career on Civvie Street. In these situations it is only fair and proper that they be able to access compensation to cover their lost earnings, as well as to compensate for their injuries. The actual amount of compensation will vary depending on the circumstances and the nature of the injury.

However it is unlikely that a serviceman injured during an actual battle would ever be able to make a compensation claim. In a situation such as this it is likely that the injury would be inflicted by the enemy; and not as a result of employer negligence. However every injury is different and every claim treated on a case by case basis.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also common following a military injury – this is a difficult illness that can lead to depression and survivors’ guilt, with symptoms including flashbacks, panic attacks or nightmares. Military personnel can claim compensation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as physical injuries.

One thing that it is important to note is that military compensation claims can be extremely complicated – and anybody who is considering making one should always speak to a specialist personal injury lawyer – someone with experience in the field.

For anybody, the first step to making a claim is speaking to a trained person who can advise as to whether your claim is worth pursuing. This can be done easily. At National Accident Helpline, call centre staff can tell you whether they think you should speak to a solicitor. They can then put you in touch with one in your area to progress your claim.

If you have been injured and want to speak to one of National Accident Helpline’s staff, call 0800 376 0150. Alternatively visit
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