Can Armed Forces Personnel Make A Claim Against Their Employer?
Posted on 27th March 2020
Personal Injury comes with the territory when it comes to the Armed Forces, or so many people think. The reality of the matter is that when you join one of the Armed Forces, just like any other job, you are an employee and you sign up to certain risks, in this case your employer is the Ministry of Defence. This does not, however, mean it is ok if you are injured regardless of the cause.
At MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor Lancaster, we are regularly approached by clients who are mid-way through attempting to settle a claim directly with a large insurer or other company but are unsure if the offer is right. This does not, however, mean it is ok if you are injured regardless of the cause.
What is the Government compensation scheme?
The government has set up a specific scheme where injured veterans can make a claim for any injury and losses caused by negligence on the part of the MoD. The scheme works in a similar way to others, such as the asbestos related illness scheme and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, usually with relatively little input and evidence, it will produce a settlement figure of up to £650,00.00. This appears, on the face of it, to be a swift, reasonable and easy way for injured veterans to access funds following the loss of their career, or for their families if they have died as a result of MoD failings.
Where is it going wrong?
According to one Armed Forces injury lawyer, the new Veterans UK website is letting injured service personnel down. The scheme promises injured veterans compensation payments for injury or illness caused by Armed Forces service “with no Courts or legal help needed”.
What the scheme does not make clear, is that settlements are calculated by the paying party, the UK government, based on their own scale and that as the veterans are told there is no need for legal advice or the Court to assess any award, the possibility of under-settlement is entirely possible, if not likely. See our personal injury solicitor’s previous blog on the subject here.
Were the veteran to seek independent legal advice, from a qualified personal injury solicitor, their entitlement to compensation remains equally valid, the difference is that they have someone on their side to advise them and the opportunity to seek the Court’s Judgement if they do not believe any MoD offer is reasonable. Finally, there is no cap on the award if this, more standard, claims route is pursued and so, if a veteran requires lifelong care, plus home adaptations, it is likely their award would exceed the scheme cap of £650,000.00. Our advice would always be to seek the assistance of a personal injury solicitor.
Would you trust your opponent, or anyone, to set the value of anything?
In everyday life, we do not ‘haggle’ in supermarkets or for insurance, but we do have the option of choosing another one if an item is overpriced, which is why price comparison sites exist. Buy a car, whether used or new it is absolutely acceptable, if not expected, that some negotiation takes place and the same applies to buying a house.
So why, regardless of the type of claim, would you let your opponent, who has every interest to value the claim as low as possible, value your claim when you have no expert adviser to tell you if the offer is, indeed, as fair as it is said to be?
The value of expert legal advice?
MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor Lancaster, constantly seeks to obtain the best possible award for our clients. We take pride in securing the best possible award, using the best possible legal route, for each individual client. We regularly come up against the same insurance companies and solicitors and often know the individual handler from previous cases, giving us the advantage of having their measure before the case truly begins.
If you instruct MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor Lancaster, we have only one goal, obtaining the best possible settlement for you. The fault party, whoever that may be, is our opponent and we have no vested interest in their profit margin or budget deficit, nor do we mind “falling out” with them if this is necessary to secure the best result for our client.
Making a claim
If you have been injured in any type of incident and you believe it was not your fault, call MG Legal, your personal injury solicitor Lancaster, to speak to one of our dedicated Personal Injury team.
We will discuss the case with you and we always look to accept all personal injury claims on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) basis. Once we have established the nature of your claim, we will look to have paperwork out to you the same day, to ensure there is no delay in starting the claim.
Get in touch with any of our offices in Lancaster, Garstang or Longridge by phone, email, web-contact form or by calling into one of the offices and we will get the ball rolling the same day.
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