£282,298 awarded for back injuries falling from a tank

In 2010 compensation of £282,298 was awarded to a 43 year old man for permanent back injuries sustained falling from a tank while on active service in the Army five years earlier.

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Case details

Injury details

During his employment with the Army the claimant fell around 8 feet from a tank turret onto his rear. He immediately suffered severe back pain.

Scans revealed the man had a prolapsed disc. The back pain was diagnosed as permanent.

The claimant was unable to work normally as before. For a period of five years his ability to work as before was restricted. He could only work two and a half days a week. He was downgraded as being only fit to perform home duties.

With treatment it was thought he may be able to increase to four days' work a week.

Medical experts differed in their opinion. Experts for the claimant stated the injuries were caused completely by the accident. Defendant experts suggested the

Claimant had a pre-existing degenerative condition so would have suffered problems at some time in the future in any event.


It was alleged that the Army had been negligent insofar as they failed to provide a safe working environment thereby causing the claimant's injuries.

The injuries were stated as being caused entirely by the accident. The defendant maintained the injuries would have occurred at some time in the future anyway.

The allegation was the injuries were not caused, merely brought forward.

The defendant further alleged the claimant had been responsible for falling from the tank, through working recklessly.

The claimant alleged their ability to work had been severely restricted on a permanent basis.

Conclusion and settlement

The matter proceeded to a Court hearing an the Court concluded the defendant was primarily to blame for the accident.

A deduction of 40% for contributory negligence was made against the claimant.

Compensation of £282,298 was awarded by way of a Court Award.

£17,000 was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."

Future treatment costs were awarded at £12,000.

Future loss of earnings was accepted in the sum of £129,166.

Disadvantage in the open labour market was awarded at £30,000

£34,676 was awarded for future gardening and decorating costs.

The remaining back injury compensation consisted of domestic repairs, care and a medical consultation fee incurred.

Read more: armed forces injury compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher