Injured Soldiers Urged To Seek Compensation In Updated Scheme Covering Civilian Acts

A Manchesterbased personal injury solicitor is encouraging injured soldiers to take advantage of an updated compensation scheme, which now includes injuries from people other than enemy combatants.

British soliders injured in Iraq and Afghanistan by criminals could now receive compensation payments of up to £500,000 after the Ministry of Defence recently updated its compensation scheme.

The updated scheme now takes in situations such as civilian riots or criminal acts, for which soldiers will be able to claim between £1,000 and £500,000.

Personal injury solicitor, James Maxey from Express Solicitors said: “Many soldiers will be able to make a claim for compensation but are probably not aware of the fact.”

At present there are only about 40 claims in process. Many more soldiers could step forward if the changes become more widely known. The Ministry of Defence now recognises that not everyone who might attack service personnel in Iraq is an insurgent. In the past it wouldn`t have considered it, but it is now trying to update its thinking and this is a very welcome move.

As a result we are urging anybody who thinks they may be able to claim to contact us, as we will be able to advise them to whether they are eligible or not.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “If you are engaged in deliberate operations against an enemy and if a roadside bomb injures you it`s hard to see how anyone could claim. But we now recognise that the situation in Basra has shifted. Not everyone attacking us is an enemy, they might be angry locals.”

For more information contact James Maxey at Express Solicitors on 0845 465 4007 or email advice@expresssolicitors.com

For further information contact Paula Hunter on 0773 998 9915 or paulaehunter@yahoo.co.uk

Notes to editors:

One British soldier was seriously wounded in Iraq every three days during October, one of the highest rates of battle casualties since the conflict began in March 2003. The figure is double the average monthly casualty rate for the first nine months of 2006.

The main British field hospital in Iraq, Shaibah “Role 3”, has treated more than 7,600 British soldiers and civilians since the invasion 283 of whom were seriously wounded in battle more than the total number of British troops now in the country. More than 4,500 were sufficiently ill to need airlifting home.

A comparison of the latest figures on the MoD website with those posted a month ago suggest the number of Britons wounded in action, the number admitted to hospital for other reasons, and the number airlifted out are all rising.

In October, 10 soldiers needed hospital treatment for battle injuries, compared with an average of less than five a month for January to September. Another 103 British soldiers and civilians needed hospital treatment for causes including heat stroke and traffic accidents, compared with a previous average of 70 a month. Eighty were flown to the UK for treatment, compared with an earlier monthly average of 60.

These figures include only those who were injured badly enough to be sent to hospital. The MoD has not released the number of soldiers who have had treatment for minor battle injuries.

Independent Online 16 November 2006

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