If you are thinking about making a civil claim for compensation for injuries or illness suffered in the military, it is vital you consider all of the options available to you before deciding on whether to pursue a claim via the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or through a civil claim for compensation via UK military compensation solicitors.
As expert UK military compensation solicitors, we believe it’s important you speak to solicitors with experience in military claims, who are able to provide you with an experienced opinion on which route may be the best for you, before making a decision on how you will proceed with a claim.
Do not settle for less
The government has recently launched a website called Veterans UK, which is part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). They claim to offer veterans free helpline support and access to compensation via the AFCS.
Many industry experts believe that the MoD are not providing veterans with all of the information available to them regarding time limits in civil claims, which is subsequently leading to many missing out on valuable compensation which they may have been due.
Below, we briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of claiming via the AFCS.
What is the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
The AFCS is a statutory scheme for those in the armed forces who sustained an illness or injury whilst serving in the armed forces.
This scheme is for all sections of the armed forces, including the Reserve Forces.
To qualify, you must be a current or former member of the armed forces, the injury must have been sustained after April 6 2005, and the claim must be brought with 7 years of the injury.
What can you claim for?
The main advantage of the AFCS is that it is a no fault compensation scheme, meaning you do not have to prove the MoD was negligent.
You can claim for any type of illness or injury sustained as a result of service.
A claim can also be brought for service-related activity, such as adventurous training, physical exercise and sports activities organised by the forces.
The armed forces have a tariff scheme which ranges from £1,200 and £650,000 for successful claims.
The upper limit is capped, whereas there is no cap via a civil claim for compensation.
You may also receive a tax free payment for life if the injury results in your discharge and your employment is affected. This will be calculated on your pay and age.
So, why bother bringing a civil claim?
In a civil claim for compensation, you can claim for damages, both for the actual injury, and for other losses, such as loss of earnings. This element of the claim is often extremely valuable, especially in cases involving clients being discharged on medical grounds. A client therefore must consider their earning capability in civilian life with their current injuries, compared to their earning potential in the military in full health.
The difference in these figures is often very large and can be claimed for.
Do not settle for less – always consider a civil claim
Claims brought via the AFCS do not factor in damages or loss of earnings.
Claims brought via the AFCS can also be denied, often leaving veterans and families wondering where to turn next.
As expert solicitors in the field of military claims, we advise all clients to seek independent legal advice before deciding on which type of claim is best for their personal circumstances.
Contact Nigel Askew Solicitors today
To discuss a new civil claim, contact our UK military compensation solicitors today to arrange a free and no obligation initial consultation, where we will discuss the merits of your individual claim.