We end 2019 by reflecting upon the Armed Forces Covenant and state opening of our new parliament and the Queens Speech in which Her Majesty pledged:
‘My Government will continue to invest in our gallant Armed Forces. My Government will honour the Armed Forces Covenant, which will be further incorporated into law’
The Armed Forces Covenant was a promise, by the nation, to those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, that they would be treated fairly. Alma Law are proud signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant. In 2018, as a fledgling law firm, we received the Bronze award under the employer recognition scheme and in 2020 we will be going for gold!
In the coming year we must now expect all government departments, particularly the MOD, to honour this covenant, to treat its injured troops and veterans fairly and to respect the law once it has been enacted.
In military accident claims, we suggest that this can easily be achieved by:
- Cooperating and collaborating with us by putting the injured soldier/veteran at the centre of the process
- Complying with the Civil Procedure Rules – a Defendant, and the MOD is no different, has just 3-months after receiving a letter of claim to send back a decision on liability (this can be as much as 6-months if the accident occurs overseas). We would almost always agree to a request for a little more time but ultimately, no decision, which is becoming the norm, results in more cost and more anguish for the injured soldier/veteran and their families, some who may be grieving the loss of a loved one
- Disclosing promptly all relevant documents and evidence
- Agreeing to attempt an early resolution of the case before costs escalate. In most cases, court proceedings should be a last resort
We send good wishes to all our brave troops working hard around the globe this festive season and to our fantastic emergency services.
Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020 to you all from Grant, Alison and Monty.
Grant Evatt, the owner of Alma Law, is a former British Army Commando. He has specialised in military accident claims for almost two decades and he is an authority in this complex area.