A career in the armed forces often brings with it a higher risk of injury than most other professions. Some injuries are minor and won’t affect you for the rest of your life, however there are also a range of injuries that can be life-changing. If you suffer an injury whilst employed as part of the military, you might be able to claim compensation for how it has affected you, particularly if the injury came about as a direct result of your employer’s negligence.
Types of injuries commonly suffered by military personnel
There are multiple types of injuries that employees in any of the British armed forces could suffer whilst at work. These injuries range from mild to severe but can all have a life-changing impact on anyone who suffers them. Hearing loss is a very common injury for military personnel, for example. It can occur as a result of exposure to loud noise in training or combat situations and can be caused by one loud noise or multiple loud noises over an extended period of time. Although hearing loss in the military may not seem serious, it can affect your ability to work as well as your life at home.
Non-freezing cold injuries like trench foot are also extremely common in the military. Again, this might not seem like a huge deal, but these types of injuries can lead to serious illness and can, in severe cases, result in limb amputation being necessary. (Note: if this has happened to you, you could pursue a military amputation claim.) Trench foot occurs due to exposure to damp and cold conditions, which can be experienced in training or combat. Although sometimes these conditions are unavoidable, the armed forces have a responsibility to protect all employees from them by providing proper footwear and sanitary living conditions.
Other injuries you could suffer as a member of the British armed forces include:
- Sports injuries
- Road traffic accidents
- Fire and chemical incidents
- Criminal injuries
- Parachuting accidents
- Injuries caused by exposure to harmful substances
- Injuries caused by faulty machinery
It is usually possible to pursue a military accident claim for yourself or a member of your family who passed away due to one of the above Of course, there are limits and rules that apply to making a claim, so you should always consult a
Limits to making armed forces injury claims
Armed forces injury claims come with limitations, as all other legal claims do. There are time limits for armed forces injury claims which depend on where the accident happened, the age of the person it happened to, and who is claiming. The rules are as follows:
- If the accident happens to an adult in England or Wales, they have three years from the date of the accident or the date they discovered the injury/condition to make a claim
- If the accident happens to a minor (under 18) in England or Wales, the three year period begins on the date of their 18th birthday
- If the accident occurs on a boat or in the air, they have two years to make a claim
- If the accident happens outside of England or Wales, the time limit depends on which country it occurred in
- If the incident is deemed to be a criminal injury, the person can claim under one of two schemes (CICA or CICO), and must make a claim within two years of the incident
- If a claim is being pursued by a relative following the death of a military employee, the relative has three years from the date of death
As well as there being time limits to making a claim, there is also one main rule of thumb. This is that a claim can only be pursued if the injury is due to an act of negligence on the part of the British military. This essentially means that claims cannot be pursued if the injury occurred simply due to the nature of the roles in the armed forces.
What to do if you’ve suffered an injury whilst in the military
Armed forces injury claims are in place to help those who have suffered unjustly, whether they have been injured themselves or a loved one has passed away. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in the military due to negligence, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. This is especially important if the injury or death occurred overseas due to the differing time limits for bringing a claim in different countries across the world.