Military Training Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a training accident while serving in the UK's armed forces, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make an armed forces injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make an armed forces injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Training for the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the Army is intended to be strenuous, challenging and difficult in order to improve soldiers' fitness and stamina, and prepare them for war.
But this does not mean that the armed services are exempt from the same health and safety regulations as other employers. If a soldier is injured during military training, they may be able to make a compensation claim.
Until 1987, it was not possible to make personal injury claims against the military. The Crown Proceedings Act of 1947 prevented the Crown from being sued. Now however, if there is proof that the armed forces were at fault for your injury, and therefore responsible for your injury or illness, you may be able to make a compensation claim.
What can I claim compensation for?
If you have been injured during military training, this may have been a result of employer negligence. You may be able to claim compensation if the armed forced failed in any of the following:
- Providing the necessary equipment to complete the job, and ensuring equipment is maintained properly and safe to work with
- Ensuring a safe and tidy working environment
- Providing health and safety training to those required to lift heavy objects
If your injury happened as a result of any of the above factors, this is employer negligence.
Common injuries from military training
Due to the nature of military training, injuries and illness are diverse. The kinds of injuries that could be claimed for include:
- Illness due to exposure - if personnel are required to camp outdoors without necessary equipment to keep them warm
- Back injury - if soldiers are not trained fully on the safe way to carry heavy objects such as rucksacks or weaponry
- Broken bones - as a result of damaged or faulty equipment such as assault courses, parachutes and explosives
- Gunshot wounds - due to improper training on the safe use of weapons
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
The military have their own compensation scheme, which can be applied for in addition to personal injury compensation. If a claim is made through AFCS, and the injury is considered serious enough, you do not need to prove that the military was at fault.
If the AFCS claim is a success, the military will award a Guaranteed Income Protection, which is intended to replace any lost future earnings.
However, there are some issues with the scheme, which can prevent claimants from claiming for multiple injuries, and does not allow claims for expenses incurred. It is therefore advised that claimants make a personal injury claim as well as an AFCS claim.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee - the facts
No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make an injury claim with:
- no upfront legal fees
- no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
- a success fee payable only if your claim is successful
No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
What is Legal Aid available for?
In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in personal injury law cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. military training injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.