An initial chat
The first thing we will do is listen to your story – you can tell us what happened and explain the impact of the injuries on you, your family, your lifestyle and your finances.
From what you have told us, we will then let you know whether we think we can help you, what evidence will be need to be collected, what to expect in terms of the process, as well as the funding options available to you.
Taking on your case
If we agree to investigate your case, we will write you a letter setting out the next steps and enclosing our terms of business. Normally, we’ll send a list of the documents we need from you too, and some forms of authority so that we can obtain copies of relevant medical and personnel records.
You may also be able to pursue your case through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. We can help you with that too or talk to you about the best course of action to take.
Investigating your case
We will immediately start our investigations and we will tell you our views about the strength of your case. If our assessment is positive, we will offer you an appropriate funding agreement. If not, we will return any papers to you and will not charge you for our work.
In cases involving medical negligence or in injury claims where the medical condition is complicated, we will involve medical specialists at an early stage. These experts will provide reports for us to discuss with you. It may be necessary for us to liaise with the expert with follow-up questions to make sure that they have all the information they need to give a thorough opinion on your injury and the effect it will have on you.
Setting out the details of your claim
When we have enough information to set out our case to the defendant (in military cases this will often be the Ministry of Defence but it could also be a civilian hospital, authority or individual) we will write a Letter of Claim. The defendant will have between 3 and 6 months, depending on the type of case, to respond by admitting or denying responsibility for the incident.
Response from the defendant
If the Defendant admits responsibility, we can move straight on to looking at how much your claim is worth and will attempt to reach an agreement that will satisfy you.
If no reasonable agreement can be reached or if responsibility is not accepted by the defendant, we will start the work that will lead to issuing the case at court and ultimately – if an appropriate settlement is not achieved in the meantime – being heard at trial before a judge.
Making a military bullying claim
When it comes to claims for bullying, harassment or discrimination in the military, you may be able to claim in both the Employment Tribunal and civil courts. But, there are strict time limits for such claims:
- Discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal – 6 months less one day from the date of the last incident (if you have brought a service complaint in time).
- Claim under the Protection from Harassment Act – 6 years from the date of the last incident.
- Claim for stress related injury at work – 3 years from the date you realise (or should have realised) that you’ve been harmed by something somebody else has done or not done.
Calculating these time limits is complex. Take legal advice rather than assume that you’re already out of time.
You should also be aware that for claims in the Employment Tribunal, you must first bring a valid service complaint within 3 months of the date of the last incident. We can advise on how and when to raise your service complaint, but remember that time is key.
In a successful claim under the Protection from Harassment Act, you can also obtain restraining orders against the individuals who have harassed you.