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Military injury claims

Serving in the military is by definition a dangerous occupation. The risk of being seriously injured or even killed can be minimised but never eliminated. The MoD has an obligation to reduce that risk, but if they fail in their duty of care towards you, it may be possible to make a claim for military injury compensation.


The MoD owes the people it employs a duty of care and any man or woman in uniform is entitled to the protection of the same health & safety precautions that any employer is obliged to take. Like any other employer, the MoD has an obligation to reduce the risk to its staff of being injured either physically or psychologically.

Some risks are not unique to the military.  A soldier is just as likely to suffer personal injury in a road traffic accident or an accident at work as any civilian.  Any member of the forces exposed to asbestos during their service after May 1987 who goes on to develop an illness due to the MoD’s negligence  can make a claim for compensation in exactly the same way a member of the public would.

However, there is perhaps a greater risk of instances of bullying, harassment and assault in the armed forces, which are utterly unacceptable in any workplace.  No matter who the perpetrators of these assaults and bullying might have been the MoD cannot evade its duty of care.  They must not only take steps to avoid injuries due to negligent practice, but must also prevent systemic failures that could ‘condone’ a culture which tolerates such abuses.

To understand the legal options available to you, contact our specialist military personal injury lawyers to find out exactly what you might be entitled to. Our personal injury specialists will support and advise you and your family throughout your claim giving you access to the appropriate, expert help needed to improve the quality of life for you and your family.

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Like any other employer, the MoD has a legal duty to make sure the men and women of our armed forces get the right equipment, protection, training and support.  That duty of care extends  to ensuring that it’s practices and culture do not condone or encourage instances of assault, bullying, or harassment that lead to mental health problems, bodily harm or serious injury.

If the MoD can be shown to have been negligent in that duty of care you may be entitled to make a military injury compensation claim.  You may be able to claim military injury compensation for injuries suffered as a result of training exercises, defective equipment or exposure to cold conditions.  Even if you feel there was some degree of ‘blame’ for the accident on your part, it may still be worth making a military injury compensation claim.

Military personnel who have suffered assault or bullying may be reluctant to take legal action simply because they are unaware that they can make a claim. No matter who the perpetrators of these assaults and bullying might have been - NCOs, private soldiers or officers – you are still entitled to make a claim for compensation.

We can give advice and assistance and fight your corner since the MoD cannot evade its duty of care towards you.  We can advise you about making a claim without commitment and will talk you through all of the options available.  We will always try to find a way of helping you that best suits your individual needs.

Since the Crown Proceedings (Armed Forces) Act 1987, serving or retired  members of the military may make a military injury claim provided the  injuries suffered  happened during the course of service while serving in the armed forces in the UK or overseas.

If the above conditions apply, you could make a military injury claim for compensation.  You may have already made a claim under the ‘no-fault’ Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) which covers all regular and reserve personnel whose injury, ill health or death was caused by their service on or after 06 April 2005.

Claiming under this scheme would not prevent you making a military injury claim against the MoD through the civilian courts in cases of bullying or assault for example.   However, any award the civilian court made for damages would most likely deduct the sum already awarded in compensation by the AFCS as the law does not allow you to recover compensation twice.

We can guide you through the whole process and can often get interim awards of compensation to deliver the early practical and ongoing support you need and deserve. We also have established partnerships with leading treatment and rehabilitation providers.  Forces charities, such as Forces in the Community (with whom we work closely) can also help give you the immediate help you require.

The severity of the injury suffered in an assault for example may well mean that there is no possibility of continuing your career in the armed forces.  In that case, making a military injury claim is essential to provide all the support you will need to cope with the serious and often life-long consequences of your injury.

Any employer (including the MoD) is not allowed to dismiss you or discriminate against you simply because you have taken legal action to obtain compensation for an accident or injuries suffered that was due to their negligence.

Similarly if you are a veteran, making a claim will not affect any pension payments or other benefits you may be in receipt of.  Our proven expertise in many areas of law means we can probably help no matter what your problem may be. In the vast majority of cases we can act on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis.

This means you face no financial risk if the claim is unsuccessful but retain the maximum possible amount of compensation if your claim does succeed without having had to pay anything up front out of your own pocket.

Most personal injury claims must be started within three years of the date of the accident or incident (although there are exceptions) but you should contact Shoosmiths as soon as possible to get things started.

Even if you feel that the injuries you suffered may have been partly your fault you may well still be entitled to claim compensation.  To understand your legal options you should contact personal injury law firm like Shoosmiths with experience in dealing with both the civilian courts and the military establishment for advice about exactly what you might be entitled to claim.

Our specialist military injury compensation lawyers will be happy to talk you through the process of making a claim in plain English and answer any questions or queries you may have.

Our Experts

'Shoosmiths got me the rehab I needed and really helped with my family. They were fantastic throughout.'

Nicola Cooper, who suffered a serious brain injury after a seemingly trivial car accident.

Why Shoosmiths?

We have a wealth of experience dealing with complex military claims including where clients have been injured during the course of service or have experience undue suffering because of a breach of care. We also help families of military personnel prepare for inquests.

Why Shoosmiths

Who we work with

  • Brain Injury Group
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Headway
  • SIA
  • Back Up
  • Macmillan
  • Danielles Flutterbyes
  • Forces
  • Bens Heroes Trust

Our accreditations

  • Accredited Personal Injury
  • Apil
  • Ama
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Legal 500
  • UK Chambers
  • The Society Of Clinical Injury Lawyers