Compensation claims by armed forces personnel and families for needless injuries and deaths are desperately important, not only to help put shattered lives back on track, but also to make the job safer for others. The unsuitability of vehicles used during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, would never have come to light had it not been for legal action taken by bereaved relatives.
But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is now saying its responsibility for paying compensation to service personnel injured overseas should end after six years.
When someone is injured or killed there is usually a three-year time limit to start a legal claim for redress. After this time, a judge has the power to decide whether a case should go ahead.
The MoD’s Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill would apply a finite deadline of six years for claims for a negligent death or injury of a member of the armed forces. No judges. No exceptions. Any other employer would still be answerable to the law.
There are numerous valid reasons why injured personnel and veterans wait to make claims, including poor mental health and fear of taking on the MoD while still in service.
You would think the Government would at least be fair towards brave forces members and their families.
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)