April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness, and highlight the impact that this kind of injury can have on an individual and their family.
In this short article, we discuss amputations as part of military claims, and how personal injury compensation can support an individual and their family rebuild their life following a medical discharge.
In the most recent annual report, ‘Afghanistan and Iraq amputation statistics: 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2020’
, the number of UK Service Personnel who sustained a traumatic or surgical amputation as a result of injury or illness were:
- 1st April 2015 – 31st March 2020 – 132 UK service personnel, of which one quarter were medically discharged.
- 7th October 2001 – 31st March 2020 – 302 UK service personnel whose injuries included a traumatic or surgical amputation sustained in Afghanistan, of these, three quarters were medically discharged.
- 1st March 2003 – 31st March 2020 – 34 UK service personnel whose injuries included a traumatic or surgical amputation sustained in Iraq, of these, half were medically discharged.
Due to a reduction in operational tempo in combat zones, the number of amputations suffered by UK service personnel has thankfully decreased in recent years.
Some service personnel may be able to continue with their military career if they regain enough medical fitness following an amputation. However, as the figures above highlight, for most, the loss of a limb will result in them being medically discharged and signal the end of a career that they have trained so hard for.
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) works as a no-fault in-service accident insurance policy. It is not compensation. It is a 15-level tariff system ranging from £570,000 for injuries sustained that are categorised as tariff 1, to £1,200 for those categorised as tariff 15.
If you are making a claim for AFCS, we can help you prepare your application and advise you as to whether not the award offered is correct and fair.
It is also possible to make a personal injury claim at the same time as making a claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. This can be complex, and we would always advise you seek the help of a specialist personal injury solicitor who has the experience of doing this.
Alma Law founder and Managing Director, Grant Evatt
is a former British Commando who has specialised in military claims for two decades.
He is an authority in this complex area, and works closely with other specialists, such as leading rehabilitation experts to provide an expert service to military clients, who are seeking legal advice following the loss of a limb during service.
In many cases, the amount awarded by the AFCS will not be enough to help the individual return to an adequate financial position or enable them to rebuild their life following such an injury.
Which is why, in cases of this severity, it is vital to also consider whether there are grounds for a personal injury claim, which will compensate for the immediate and long-term impact of the injury. Claims such as these factor in short and long term rehabilitation needs, therapeutic aid and support with sexual function (where applicable), future care and assistance, prosthetic limbs, specialist aids and medical equipment and adaptations to accommodation, all of which are vital to help an individual live an independent and fulfilling life following a traumatic or surgical amputation.
If you were medically discharged from the armed forces following a traumatic or surgical amputation because of an accident or injury that was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim.
Alma Law are an authority in military claims. We will work closely with you, your loved ones, and medical specialists, such as leading rehabilitation experts, throughout the entire claims process to help give you the best possible life following your amputation.
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Charities such as BLESMA
and Help For Heroes
provide support, advice and guidance for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.