Defence Forces Accident Claims*

We can help with your Defence Forces Accident Claim*

The Army, Air Corps, Naval Service, and Reserve Defence Forces make up Ireland's Defence Forces. If you or a family member have suffered a Defence Forces injury, an event that can affect a person’s mental and physical state, you may be entitled to pursue legal action.

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Can I make a Defence Forces Accident Claim*?

We understand that filing a compensation claim against the Defence Forces can be intimidating. Soldiers have the same right to compensation as civilians. A military injury claim, also referred to as a military negligence claim, is a legal process in which a member of the military service files a personal injury claim against the Defence Forces for an injury sustained while serving for the Defence Forces.

Even though providing military service for your country is recognised as being a dangerous job and many Defence service personnel accept the fact that they may sustain an injury in the line of duty, it does not mean that they do not have the same rights as everyone else. If an accident occurs that could have been avoided with reasonable care, the injured party may be in a position to file a negligence claim.


Common Defence Forces Accident Claims*

It is essential to take all necessary safety precautions within the Defence Forces as their nature presents challenges to working safely on a daily basis.

The Defence Forces have a responsibility to ensure that the best possible safety procedures are carried out and followed. The Defence Forces are accountable for safety hazards that may cause a personal injury to a soldier or a Defence Forces personnel.

The most common Defence Forces accident claims are:

  • Accidents resulting from the careless discharge of guns
  • Injuries sustained by a non-freezing cold, also known as trenchfoot
  • Training drill accidents
  • Accidents involving the Defence Forces vehicles that was not your fault
  • Falls from a height
  • Hearing loss caused by noise
  • Fatal injuries
  • Off duty accidents
  • Aircraft accidents
  • Military PTSD claims
  • An injury caused by a military accommodation that is either hazardous or substandard
  • Victims of military abuse including sexual assault, sexual abuse or harassment. 

What do I do if I'm involved in a Defence Forces Accident?

Following a Defence Forces accident, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after a military accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident need medical treatment. If you or anyone else involved has sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance or medic to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to more serious injuries in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you inform the medic or your local GP and get your injury checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is critical to report the accident to your superior. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used for reference in any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents from happening in the future.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed your accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a military accident claim. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where your accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    • How the accident happened
    • Details of any witnesses
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of your accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused your accident
  5. Speak to an accident claims solicitor

    If you are considering moving forward with a Defence Forces accident claim for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with an accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) for assessment. An accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

     

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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Call us today on +353 1 649 9900 or contact us online.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist accident solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your Defence Forces accident claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    Solicitors are aware of the accident claim process and can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this process yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so they can obtain a report on your injuries.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your Defence Forces accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    1. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and your employer will be ordered to pay settlement to you.
    2. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.
  5. Possible case outcomes

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your Defence Forces accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    1. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and your employer will be ordered to pay settlement to you.
    2. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

At Tracey Solicitors, we make law accessible to all – regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your Defence Forces accident, phone 01 649 9900 or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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The updates I received from Emilia and the Polish team were very professional. I understood every aspect of my case.
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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a Defence Forces accident claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident in the Defence Forces.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages. 

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

Employer’s Duty of Care

The Defence Forces have a duty to ensure safety standards are met in the workplace. These in theory should help to minimise the number of Defence Forces accidents.

The duties of the Defence Forces include:

  • Managing activities in a way which prioritises health and safety.
  • Providing proper medical care and treatment for injuries
  • Providing the correct training and protective equipment to all military personnel.
  • Providing sufficient training.
  • Ensuring that the working environment is suitable for the work that is to be carried out.
  • Ensuring that any equipment needed is in good working condition.

A breach of these duties by the Defence Forces can lead to accidents. If a soldier has sustained an injury and it is found that it was caused by military negligence, then the Defence Forces are likely to be found liable.

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

Contact Us

Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

+353 1 649 9900

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