Official figures published by the Ministry of Defence for 2019/20 reveal an 8.6% increase in the number of personal injury compensation claims brought against them compared to the previous year.
A total of 5,192 new claims were made against the MOD by both civilians and military personnel for injuries sustained in a range of circumstances: from motor accidents; exposure to noise, asbestos and the cold; clinical negligence and slips, trips or falls.
These cases are brought under common law; they aren’t subject to any special rules just because they are made against the government. If claims can’t be settled through lawyer-to-lawyer negotiation, they are dealt with by the civil courts and heard by civil judges.
Total payments by the MOD for compensation claims and associated costs for the year 2019/20 were around £147m.
The figures published don’t include claims under the ‘no fault’ Armed Forces Compensation Scheme – which are due to be released in the summer.
So, what does the report reveal?
Whilst the number of claims arising out of road traffic accidents has fallen, there has been a huge increase in the number of noise induced hearing loss claims – a rise of 39.2% on the previous 12-month period. This is in no small part due to increased awareness of military personnel that they are entitled to (and deserve to be!) compensated for the irrevocable damage to their hearing.
Non-Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI) claims have dropped by 38%, perhaps on account of increased awareness that some troops are far more vulnerable to cold injuries than others. We’ve previously written an article on this subject which you can find here.
Examples of the different claimants that we have represented in actions against the MOD include fatal road traffic accidents, NFCI claims, catastrophic equipment failures, hearing loss, damage to eyesight, climbing accidents and many more.
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
It’s worth also mentioning that for claims brought under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) in the period April 2019-March 2020, there was a modest drop of 5% to 8,895 claims, compared to the previous year. Genuine AFCS claims are often rejected for erroneous reasons or awards that are made are far too low and the MoD saw a significant increase in the number of servicemen and women challenging those decisions. ‘Reviews’ increased by 35% on the preceding year, as too did the number of ‘Reconsiderations’. This paints a stark picture of the undependable nature of claims made under the scheme.
If you should need advice on your military personal injury claim or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, then please get in touch to find out how we can help. If you need to know more about making a AFCS claim, then here is a link to an article that you may find of use.
Don’t forget, Alma Law is here to help you get the help and compensation you deserve.
We’re approachable, honest and trustworthy and get many of our cases through clients who have recommended us to their friends and colleagues.