Territorial Army and Reservist Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by illness or injury while serving in the TA, 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
Anyone joining the Army Reserve or Territorial Army (TA) knows they could be called out to serve on operations, in UK or abroad, for anything up to 12 months.
Reservists may find themselves serving in circumstances that are as dangerous to those faced by the Regular Army.
The Army has a responsibility to all its soldiers (including reservists) to provide as much protection as reasonably possible, looking after their health and safety interests whilst engaged on active duty. This duty includes ensuring soldiers receive full training and equipment which is fit for purpose.
If you were injured or became ill while serving as a reservist or member of the TA, you may be able to make an armed forces injury claim.
Injured in the line of duty
Compensation may be claimed for any injury or illness that happened as a result of the claimant's service, in the course of carrying out their duty. Circumstances can include service-related activities such as training exercises.
Physical injuries may be a result of accidents including parachuting, mountaineering or abseiling as well as road traffic accidents involving military vehicles. They may also be caused by faulty equipment or weapons.
In addition to physical injury, members of the armed forces may be exposed to situations that cause them to sustain psychological illnesses such as depression and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS).
Existing illnesses may also be made worse through service activities. It may, in some cases, also be possible to claim for the consequences of this worsening of symptoms.
How is compensation calculated?
Compensation may include a lump sum and/or regular payments and the amount will depend on the severity of the injury or illness.
If your injury or illness is due to service after 5 April 2005, you may receive a tax-free lump sum payment through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
For more serious illness or injury, you may also receive a tax-free monthly payment for life after you are discharged. This is known as a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP). The amount payable is based on your salary, age and the severity of the injury.
If the GIP awarded is 50% or more of a claimant's salary he or she may also be eligible for an Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
Where the injury or illness was sustained during service before 6 April 2005 a successful claimant may be awarded either a pension if the disability is assessed at 20% and above, or a lump sum for a disability assessed at below 20%.
Amounts awarded depend on the severity of the injury or illness.
Other allowances may be available for those with problems in getting around or with finding a job.
Making a claim
There are different qualifying rules according to when you were injured.
For those whose injury or illness was due to service after 5 April 2005 claims are made through the AFCS.
Through this scheme you have up to 7 years after the injury or illness to start a claim (unless claiming for an illness that started later as a result of an injury - sometimes known as a ‘late onset illness'). You can be a current or former member of the Army Reserve
Where you injury or illness is due to service before 6 April 2005 a claim should be brought under the War Pension Scheme (WPS).
There are no time limits for claiming under the WPS but claimants must be no longer serving as reservists.
Can I claim for any expenses I incurred?
The AFCS does not allow claims for expenses incurred, for example costs associated with getting to medical appointments. As these may add up to considerable sums it is recommended that claimants also make a personal injury claim through a civil Court in addition to their AFCS claim.
The civil claim would need to be started within three years of sustaining the injury.
You may also wish to bring a personal injury claim where there are multiple injuries, especially where they are less severe, as this can result in a higher compensation payout than would be possible under the AFCS.
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, no risk
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also called a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), 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, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee 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 do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
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.