Q&A - Can I make a military injury claim against the MoD?

Q:    I left the military at the end of 2019 after serving for six years. In the summer before I came out, I was involved in an accident when the vehicle I was driving came off the road. It was later proven that the vehicle had not undergone service checks when they were due, and the accident could be attributed to a fault that would have been rectified if the check had been carried out. I did not sustain any serious injuries at the time but during the latter part of this year I began to suffer severe pain that has now been diagnosed as resulting from whiplash. Can I make a claim against the MoD?

A:    As is the case with all employers, the Ministry of Defence has a duty of care to provide appropriate training and equipment and a safe place of work. If that duty of care is breached, resulting in injury and subsequent loss, a claim can be brought.

For injuries caused by unsafe or defective equipment, clinical negligence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sustained in training accidents and unsafe practices, victims can bring a civil personal injury claim against the MoD. As this type of claim must be brought within three years, claimants should seek legal advice as soon after an accident or becoming aware of related health problems as possible.

A civil claim is dealt with very differently to a claim for injuries sustained during an active operation or ongoing combat, as a claim of that nature would have to be channelled through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Further, an AFCS claim must be made within seven years of the injury being sustained, rather than within the three years’ limit of a civil claim. You should make an appointment to see a solicitor who specialises in military claims as a matter of urgency.

This question has been answered by Catherine Field, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.

Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry, please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website or call Wrexham 01978 291456. As a firm, you will appreciate that we are still extremely busy, and whilst our colleagues are well equipped to work remotely, due to current circumstances work may be interrupted – however cases are still ongoing and will be prioritised by urgency and need. Stay safe and thank you for your support.

Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Partner and Complaints Handler

Partner and Head of the Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution team in Wrexham