Prince Harry is set to end his 10 year military career. He is not sure what to do next. This is a common problem amongst those leaving the forces. The prospect of civilian life can be very daunting. Many people, including Prince Harry, do not have a job lined up. There are also issues regarding housing, healthcare, and financial planning.
For those who are leaving on health grounds, the problems are multiplied.
If you suffered illness or injury on or after 6th April 2005 or your injury became apparent after that date then you could be eligible for compensation via the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. You must make the claim within 7 years of the injury or illness. Claims can range from relatively minor fractures to amputations and other more serious conditions, including mental disorders. Further information can be found on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications.
If injured while in service you may also have a claim for negligence. If your injury or illness is caused by the negligence of the Ministry of Defence or one of its employees you may have a civil claim for compensation. A claim may also be made by a relative of a serviceperson who was killed as a result of such negligence. Examples of negligence include:
- Injury caused by poorly maintained equipment, weapons, or buildings
- Negligent medical treatment
- Breaches of orders or rules by the MOD or one of its employees
- Injuries caused by inadequate training
Whilst the workplace of a soldier is inherently dangerous they are still entitled to a safe place of work, proper risk assessments, and safe systems of work. Service men and women have made great sacrifices to defend the rights of individuals. It is only fair that they are looked after once they leave the forces and that they are encouraged to enforce those rights which they fought to protect.
Some successful cases include:
The mother of a soldier who was crushed to death when a trench collapsed on top of him, during a tour of duty in Iraq, was awarded £43,200 in compensation.
A former serviceman received compensation after suffering a serious injury while taking part in an organised game, involving a shallow pool of water, during a Health and Fun Day at an RAF base.
A former serviceman received £12,500 for a non-freezing cold injury suffered as a result of failure to provide adequate clothing. He also received £99,000 to compensate him for future loss of earnings.