Warren Maxwell featured in an article in the Law Society Gazette, discussing some of the issues that military personnel face in obtaining compensation when they are injured in the line of duty.
Warren, who served five years in the Coldstream Guards, explains how those injured in the military often lose more than just a job when they are seriously injured. He says:
“People often sign up to the armed forces under the age of 20. It’s an opportunity to make lifelong friends, and be part of a supportive close-knit community. You receive accommodation. You have a long-term career, with opportunities for advancement and to try different roles. To lose that because of an accident that was the employer’s fault can be devastating.”
The article continues:
“Claims will not only involve loss of benefits such as a generous pension, accommodation, and various allowances and perks. There is also the question of how long the individual would have stayed in the forces. A young recruit with a good performance record on deployment, or a soldier with family members who have had long army careers, could argue that they themselves would have served for many years. Then there is the issue of what second career they might have gone on to enjoy. Without the negligence, would they have reached a more senior army rank, and so entered the civilian workforce at management level, with a double pension? When it comes to calculating damages, the courts tend to be more willing than usual to accept the use of employment experts, because of the complexity involved.”
Warren explains that suing the MoD can seem difficult and off putting to serving personnel, although the law that applies to suing a civvy employer applies to suing the MoD:
“There’s a culture of, ‘it’s a dangerous job – get used to it’, and there is a perceived chance of discrimination or lack of promotion if you do bring a claim.”
This article first appeared in The Law Gazette, published 22 July 2019. To read this full article, Battle Lines, please click here.
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