What classes as an HM Forces claim? Just as in any other working environment, accidents can happen in the military and, as with any other type of injury that occurs at work, a military accident may be treated as a personal injury claim.
Servicemen and women have the same rights as other civilian workers such as nurses, construction workers or labourers when it comes to claiming compensation for injuries sustained due to an accident that was not their fault. In most cases the claim will be against the Ministry of Defence.
As well as being able to make a personal injury claim, a serviceman or woman may also be able to make a claim under the War Pension Scheme or the statutory ‘no fault’ Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
The War Pension Scheme has been replaced by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, but the War Pension Scheme can still be used for military personnel with conditions or injuries that date back to before 6 April 2005.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme applies to any injuries or conditions that occurred after 6 April 2005. This scheme is in addition to a claimant’s ordinary legal rights. Unlike claims for negligence, it is not necessary to prove that the accident was someone else’s fault. Receiving an award under this scheme does not mean that an individual cannot also pursue a personal injury claim.
What classes as an HM Forces claim?
This may be contentious. If an injury occurs on the battlefield it may not be possible to claim compensation as this is covered by ‘combat immunity’. Each case, however, needs to be assessed. If the injury was sustained whilst preparing for combat or whilst engaging the enemy, the right to claim compensation from the MOD is usually suspended. In cases where the injury occurred away from combat, the individual may still be able to claim. If, for example, an injury is sustained in a road traffic accident, the individual may not have been involved in anything related to combat. Another consideration is that recently the government has been challenged over decisions it made with regards to military equipment. If this equipment is found to be defective, military personnel who were injured as a result of using this equipment may be able to claim compensation.
It is not uncommon for military accidents to happen away from the battlefield. Individuals may be exposed to chemicals or substances that are injurious to health, such as asbestos, and this should not occur without proper health and safety measures being taken. Faulty equipment may lead to injuries. Injuries may also occur during either training or sporting activities. Military claims do not have to be limited to physical injuries. Military personnel may also suffer stress and trauma, such as soldiers who develop post-traumatic stress disorder after their service.
Anyone who has suffered either a physical or psychological injury as a result of his or her time in the military may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. A claim will be strengthened if an individual has had to resign from the military, but this does not mean that a serviceman or woman cannot pursue a personal injury claim whilst they are still in the military. If you have asked yourself, “What classes as an HM Forces claim?” then Accident Advice Helpline can offer you help and guidance.
To discuss your case with a member of our expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Date Published: December 29, 2013
Author: David Brown