If you have developed a non freezing cold injury while serving in the British army or armed forces, you could be entitled to compensation.
See Case Study: £350,000 Compensation in MoD Non Freezing Cold Injury Claim.
It does not matter whether you are still serving in the armed forces, or you have left your military career behind.
What is a Non Freezing Cold Injury?
A non freezing cold injury (NFCI) is when the hands and feet are exposed to the cold for long periods of time, damaging the blood vessels and nerves. They differ to freezing injuries, whereby ice crystals form in the body tissue.
The early signs of non freezing cold injuries include pain, swelling and discolouration. If treatment is given quickly, lasting damage can be prevented. Otherwise, the blood vessels and nerves will be permanently injured. This can result in life-long symptoms, including chronic pain, numbness and tingling.
You do not have to be in sub-zero temperatures to experience non freezing cold injuries. It can easily happen during training exercises in the UK, and while serving overseas.
Non Freezing Cold Injuries in the British Army
When someone in the British army suffers a non freezing cold injury anywhere in the world, medical treatment should be provided by the Army as soon as possible as it can have a detrimental impact on the rest of their life. They will be more vulnerable to cold temperatures, which makes both training and military tours difficult. Their manual dexterity may also be affected, meaning they cannot fulfil their duties effectively.
In fact, military personnel can be medically discharged from the armed forces because of non freezing cold injuries. Suddenly, their military careers have ended prematurely. They are then at a disadvantage on the civilian labour market, particularly if their symptoms are severe.
If you had to leave the armed forces because of a non freezing cold injury you suffered while serving in the military, your claim may be able to include loss of future earnings.
For a free consultation get in touch with our Personal Injury Solicitors.
MoD Duty of Care
During World War I, non freezing cold injuries were known more commonly as ‘trench foot’. Since then, it has been a known risk amongst those serving in the armed forces. Military personnel are often outside in adverse weather conditions, whether on training exercises or in a theatre of war.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has a legal responsibility to limit the risk of non freezing cold injuries. This is all part of their duty of care towards employees, and can be achieved by:
- Providing the correct equipment, such as the correct boots and gloves
- Educating service personnel on the signs and treatment of non freezing cold injuries
- Limiting unnecessary exposure to cold conditions
- Diagnosing and treating non freezing cold injuries in the early stages
If you develop a non freezing cold injury, the MoD may have breached their duty of care, as it should be possible to prevent a non freezing cold injury. At the very least, the early signs should be recognised and treated as quickly as possible. This makes a full recovery much more likely. Otherwise, permanent damage can occur.
Non Freezing Cold Injury Claims
If you have developed a non freezing cold injury while serving in the British Forces, you could have grounds for a claim. Not many people realise this option is available to them. However, you are entitled to make a civil claim against the MOD, alongside other financial claims – including an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) claim.
Even if you have been denied the chance to make a claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, you could still make a civil personal injury claim.
Non freezing cold injuries can have widespread implications. You may lose your career in the armed forces, find it difficult to secure future employment, and face a lifetime of pain. If this has happened to you through no fault of your own, you deserve to be compensated.
For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors
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