Assessing the short and long term implications of your injury on your personal life and career prospects can be a complicated process, based on different kinds of evidence. This means it would be wrong for us to provide a firm figure when you first get in contact with us. What we can do is tell you about the factors we will take into account when we are acting for you. There will probably be ways in which you had not thought you would be disadvantaged and we can investigate them to help secure your future.
We will consult medical experts who can tell us the extent of the injury and whether your condition will deteriorate or improve in the future. We build the financial case on that advice.
The starting point will be your damages (compensation) for pain and suffering. There are usually past cases that have been decided in court that we compare to yours to get an idea of how much a judge would order the defendant to pay if the case were to go to trial.
We then look at the financial repercussions, which for military personnel can be unusually severe even for what in civilian life could be a relatively “minor” injury. For example, if a broken ankle is neglected and heals less well than it should, it could lead to a shorter career in the military and decrease the choice of jobs available to you when you leave. You could lose out substantially on pay and pension both during and after service.
We also look at the hidden costs, such as the need for paid care to relieve the burden on loved ones or for special equipment and adaptations to your home – even new accommodation if necessary. Family members may have lost pay themselves because they have had to look after you. You could need medical treatment that would be better provided in the private sector than in the NHS.
We will research all these losses and put together a full list. We then try to reach a settlement with the defendant and, if that is not possible, make the case in court.
We will often recommend that you make an application under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS). You can do and should do this at the same time as making a negligence, harassment or discrimination claim. In suitable cases, we can help you with the AFCS procedure.