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Military Injury Compensation Claims

Providing military service to your country is a dangerous job and those who enter this area, in a professional capacity, are likely to be accepting of the fact that injuries may happen in the line of duty. However, military personnel do have a right to expect that their safety is protected when not in a direct combat situation. If you feel you have suffered an injury whilst on duty, and you feel that it was caused due to poor safety measures, you may be able to bring a claim against your employer for compensation.

Military

Helpful Information

The Defence Forces in Ireland is comprised of the Army, Air Corps, Naval Service and Reserve Defence Forces. If you have been injured, or a loved one has died, whilst delivering duties for any of these organisations, you may be eligible to claim military injury compensation. You can arrange to speak to one of our specialist solicitors today, or you can follow our advice below.

Bringing a claim against the Defence Forces

Military personnel are like many other emergency service workers, such as firefighters and paramedics, in that they place their lives on the line to help keep others safe. Of course, this inevitably means there will be many unpredictable scenarios where it is impossible for an employer to safeguard individuals from harm’s way. For firefighters, this could include the collapse of building infrastructure whilst dealing with the fire. For paramedics, this could involve a highspeed collision whilst racing to the scene of an accident. For military staff, personnel on the frontline of a military operation may sadly be injured or lose their lives.

However, just because emergency and military service staff deal with dangerous situations every day, that does not mean they do not have the same rights as everyone else to a work environment that protects their safety to a high standard. If an accident occurs, which could have reasonably been prevented by adherence to standard Health & Safety legislation, the injured party may be eligible to instigate a claim for negligence.

Scenarios where you may have a basis to instigate a claim include:

  • A lack of adequate equipment to carry out your duties
  • An injury caused by faulty or dangerous military equipment
  • An injury inflicted during unsafe training sessions
  • Failure to recognise symptoms of PTSD
  • Extreme and avoidable scenarios causing PTSD
  • Situations causing noise induced hearing loss
  • An injury caused by unsafe or inadequate military accommodation
  • An injury sustained in a road traffic accident, caused by negligent driving.

Of course, there may be many other valid scenarios where it is possible to make a claim against your employer for compensation. Speak to one of our specialist personal injury claims solicitors today for further advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the questions we are often asked in relation to this topic.

  • What legal protections are not afforded to employees of the Defence Forces?

    In Ireland, members of the Defence Forces do not enjoy certain legal protections and employment rights extended to other employees. Notably, they lack the right to strike or engage in industrial action, and while they can join representative associations, these do not have the same legal standing as civilian trade unions. Additionally, protections against unfair dismissal provided by the Unfair Dismissals Acts do not apply to them, nor do the working time regulations under the Organisation of Working Time Act, which means their hours and schedules are not regulated in the same way as civilian employees.

    Further, certain provisions of the Employment Equality Acts and the Health and Safety at Work Act are not applicable to Defence Forces personnel. These exceptions are due to the unique nature of military service, which requires maintaining discipline, readiness, and operational effectiveness. Despite safety protocols within the military, the specific demands of military operations sometimes necessitate deviations from standard labour laws to ensure national security.

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  • Does this mean I can't take legal action if I experience injury or discrimination?

    No, this is not the case. The State paid over €10 million in legal settlements for claims against the Defence Forces between 2020 and 2023, with future payouts expected to be much higher. As of March 2024, there are 482 open cases, including personal injury claims and judicial reviews. These cases are managed by the Department of Defence, as the Defence Forces cannot act as defendants.

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  • How are claims against the Defence Forces handled?

    Currently, the Department of Defence's litigation branch manages claims in coordination with the State Claims Agency (SCA) and the Chief State Solicitor’s Office (CSSO). All personal injury claims by Defence Forces members are handled by the SCA, which provides legal representation, while employment law matters are managed by the CSSO. The Department maintains daily contact with the SCA and CSSO to manage litigation cases actively, aiming for equitable outcomes and cost minimisation. Costs incurred are rigorously monitored, reviewed, and reported regularly within the Department to ensure close oversight of the litigation process.

Army & military injury compensation claims

If you work within any of the divisions of The Defence Forces such as the Army or Air Corps, and you have suffered an avoidable injury whilst in the line of duty, get in contact with our specialist military injury claims solicitors today to make a start on your claim or gather more information. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on info@mccarthy.ie and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

McCarthy + Co Personal Injury Team CTA

About McCarthy + Co

With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims, McCarthy + Co. have brought many successful army injury claims and compensation cases against other military organisations. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial and helpful advice.

Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal injury.

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Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

Email: flor@mccarthy.ie
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wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

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is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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