A Guide to Military Compensation Claims
Thank you very much for the brilliant service, professionalism and caring attitude whilst handling my recent claim.
An introduction to compensation claims for Military Personnel
Alexander Harris are a national firm specialising in catastrophic injury and claims for military personnel. We are recognised as a leading firm in this specialised area by other lawyers, the medical profession, the insurance industry and many other organisations including Headway, the Spinal Injury Association, the Limbless Association, BLESMA, Douglas Bader Foundation.
It is quite possible that you have never had to contact a solicitor before. You might have instructed a solicitor when you moved house or to prepare a will, or even for a minor injury claim. However, claims involving military personnel are quite different and necessitate a lawyer with expertise and experience. After all, the Defendant will instruct a specialist solicitor to deal with the claim and you need to be on an equal footing from the start.
Our team of expert lawyers have handled many military injury claims through to a successful conclusion. This experience enables us to understand and plan for some of the challenges and difficulties encountered by service personnel. We understand that all aspects of your life, work, family, relationships and recreation will have changed. Our understanding enables us to present any compensation claim in the fairest and most appropriate way. We also work hard to ensure your rehabilitation and restoration of quality of life is key in our handling of your claim.
Choosing the right solicitor can not only help you through this difficult period but in some cases it can mean the difference between winning and losing your case or of many thousand pounds in compensation.
Type of claims
We can handle all types of claims for military personnel including:-
- Accidents at work
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims
- Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Claims
- Clinical Negligence
- Sporting Injuries
- Accidents in public places Cases can include:-
Claims against the Ministry of Defence for an accident at work
Like any other employer, the MOD are responsible for the safety of their employees. Unlike many other employees however, MOD personnel are often placed in dangerous situations during their working day where one wrong move can mean severe injury or even death.
Whilst you cannot sue the MOD for injuries sustained in a combat situation, the MOD are subject to the same duties that all employers have, to provide their employees with a safe system of work including sufficient, adequate and accurate training, supervision, equipment and competent colleagues.
Due to the inherently dangerous nature of the work service personnel are involved in, when things do
go wrong there are often catastrophic consequences.
Aviation, parachuting, weapons, chemicals, specialist equipment, buildings, vehicles, machinery, training exercises, mountaineering, sports instruction, jungle warfare training, medical treatment, drugs and faulty products.
Service personnel and their families can be posted anywhere in the world. Legal systems vary from country to country and in the USA from State to State. Specialist legal advice is necessary from lawyers who have experience of litigation in foreign countries.
Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme
This scheme was introduced specifically to compensate military personnel for injuries where they have
been victims of crimes of violence should they have been assaulted whilst posted overseas. It ensures
they receive compensation on a level with those injured as a result of a crime of violence in this country.
A word of caution - time limits
Generally claims for personal injury must be made within 3 years from the date of an accident or actual knowledge of an incident. No matter where in the world the accident occurs you are generally able to sue the MOD in this country. Where the injured person is unable, as a result of mental capacity to manage their own legal affairs, the 3 year limitation may not apply.
However, this limitation period is often misunderstood within the military and as a result misleading advice could be given.
When someone is so seriously injured that they cannot perform their duties anymore, quite often they are medically discharged. Many believe that they will receive a War Pension and that it will provide them with sufficient monies to obtain the suitable adapted accommodation, care and equipment that they will need for the rest of their lives. Others are told that they cannot make a claim for compensation until they actually leave the Armed Forces.
The process of medical discharge and assessment of service personnel for a pension can often take anywhere between 12-24 months. Quite often it is only when someone is awarded a pension and find themselves back in civilian life, out of the military in severely changed financial and social circumstances and profoundly injured, they realise that they may have a claim but by this stage valuable time has been lost.
The legal process and evidence gathering
We will advise you on all aspects surrounding your claim, so that you don't need to worry and can concentrate on your rehabilitation, which is the most important aspect.
Our advice includes the following:-
- Medical discharge and vocational retraining
- Claiming for immediate rehabilitation and treatment costs
- Purchase of a new home or adaptations to your current home
- Aids and equipment including vehicles and wheelchairs
- Care needs
- Case Management and support with day to day living including financial budgeting, care and support needs
- Interim payments to eliminate financial hardship
- Tax effective settlement options including preservation of your service related pension
Unfortunately, most injured people who make claims against the MOD are usually male, aged 18-25 who are cut off in their prime and have not had the ability to prove themselves in their career in the forces.
We have expertise to ensure that assessing the value of your service career had you not been injured will be put forward in the best possible way. We work hard to ensure the loss of your career is fully compensated.
We would be happy to meet with you in a hospital, at home, or talk on the telephone without charge or obligation to discuss a potential claim.
The personal injury team represent clients throughout the UK and overseas.
Lesley Casey, Partner Military Injury Specialist
Lesley is a nationally renowned military expert and catastrophic injury lawyer. Lesley is on the Headway Solicitors referral panel, the SIA (Spinal Injury Association) referral panel and Law Society Personal Injury panel. She is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the secretary for the Military Special Interest Group. She is acknowledged for her commitments in achieving results and represents clients in cases involving military, spinal, brain, amputation and burn injuries including many others.
In the last 12 months the personal injury team have recovered in excess of £50million in compensation for their clients.
Helpful Links: BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-service Mens Association) - 020 8590 1124
If you have suffered a Military Injury and require legal advice please contact our specialist team on our freephone number 08080 774477.
For further information on catastrophic injury visit www.alexanderharris.co.uk
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