No win, no fee NFCI compensation claims
Be represented by a military injury lawyer at no upfront cost to you. Under our No Win No Fee agreement you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of the compensation awarded if your case is successful.
Military Non-Freezing Cold Injury compensation claims
Those serving in the British Army usually sustain a non-freezing cold injury (NFCI), also known as ‘trench foot’ or ‘cold weather injury’, on winter training exercises, often carrying out duties such as sentry duty, manning an observation post or setting an ambush.
NFCIs usually affect the body’s extremities, such as hands and feet. Symptoms can include:
- Excessive sweating
Left untreated, NFCI can lead to permanent damage to nerves and blood vessels. Some injuries mean sufferers can’t work outside and may end up being medically discharged.
If you think you’ve suffered a non-freezing cold injury you may be entitled to ‘army cold injury’ compensation under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) or through a civil military negligence claim, even if you’ve been turned down for an AFCS payment.
Specialist military injury lawyers
NFCI is the most common form of military injury suffered on exercises, but regulations mean they shouldn’t happen as the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a duty of care to protect you by:
- Providing suitable equipment including boots and gloves.
- Limiting unnecessary exposure.
- Allowing you time to dry and warm up hands and feet
- Providing adequate training so you can prevent and recognise an NFCI.
- Identifying and treating signs of NFCI as soon as possible.
- Carrying out regular foot inspections.
- Enforcing sock changes.
- Providing adequate shelter.
- Listening to complaints.
If the MOD has failed in its duty of care you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.
Damages to reflect impact on lives
Our military injuries compensation experts will seek damages to cover past and future loss of earnings and pensions, loss of career prospects and promotions as well as the cost of future care.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) makes lump sum awards but if you are medically discharged for an NFCI, your personal injury claim could be worth considerably more through a civil claim where there are no payment caps. Previous awards by the MOD have reached £500,000.
Hudgell Solicitors’ personal injury lawyers and military injury claims experts. Our team will calculate your claim based on your:
- Pain and suffering.
- Career prospects.
- Loss of earnings.
- Loss of pension.
- Loss of service benefits.
Loss of British residency if you’re a soldier from overseas.
Ensuring you get the [service] compensation you deserve
How to make a military injury claim
Make a claim in six easy steps
Free Initial Advice
Call us, request a callback or complete our online claim form and we will assess whether we think you have a claim.
We will help you to decide how best to fund your claim. Usually, we will be able to offer you a No win, No fee agreement.
Letter Of Claim
We will send a letter to your opponent with details of your claim, setting out why we think they are at fault.
Obtain Medical Records & Medical Reports
We will request copies of your medical records and instruct a medical expert to prepare a report about the extent of your injuries.
Prepare Claim Valuation
We will put together a schedule of loss setting out the losses you have incurred and the extent of the injuries you have sustained.
We will send all the evidence to your opponent inviting their settlement proposals. If we cannot agree a reasonable settlement, we will prepare court proceedings.
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We’re always committed to getting the optimum outcome for you.
What is a military non-freezing cold injury (NFCI)?
Cold injury includes whole-body cooling, i.e. hypothermia and cooling of the extremities such as hands and feet. NFCI mostly occurs in the UK during training exercises.
The symptoms of NFCIs include being more sensitive to the cold than before, as well as chronic pain. NFCI can be debilitating and affect all aspects of life.
Those of Afro-Caribbean ethnicity are at higher risk of developing NFCI symptoms. This is a known factor to the MOD.
What are the long-term effects of a non-freezing cold injury?
Left untreated, NFCI can lead to permanent damage to nerves and blood vessels. Often, the affected area becomes more sensitive to cold.
Cases range from mild to severe, with some injuries being so sensitive to cold that sufferers can’t work outside and may end up being medically discharged.
An NFCI sufferer maybe prescribed medication and have the heating turned up and need to avoid exposure to the cold and wet.
An NFCI can be career ending and may affect future career prospects.
Why seek civil damages for NFCI rather than compensation through the AFCS scheme?
At Hudgell Solicitors our military injury experts can assess the details of your claim and advise you on which course of legal action to take for the maximum compensation award available.
Civil military negligence claims are not limited to a maximum compensation amount, unlike the AFCS scheme, and can therefore lead to high awards.
We strongly advise using our expert team of military injury lawyers as should you be considering applying directly to the AFCS scheme, 30% of claims without legal support are rejected.
Our expertise is provided on a no win no fee basis and we will ensure your application to the AFCS clearly evidences your injuries, and the impact of them.
For the more serious injuries which result higher awards, claimants can also be awarded a tax-free monthly payment (Guaranteed Income Payments) paid from the end of military service for life, to constitute a percentage of their salary.
Our team of expert military injury solicitors can also help in contesting compensation offers made through the AFCS, as we can advise on the level of damages which we feel should be offered.
We can also request ‘exceptional reviews’ of AFCS damages awards when a military injury unexpectedly deteriorates, or should further problems develop beyond those anticipated, years after an award has been made.
How much compensation could I receive for a military NFCI claim?
In a civil claim the amount of compensation you receive for NFCI will depend on the severity of your injury. Other details that will be considered are your age and the impact your injury will have on your future earnings and loss of promotions or pensions.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Civil military negligence injury compensation claims usually have to be started within a three-year time limit from the injury being suffered. However, there are a number of situations and circumstances under which this time limit can be extended, so it is advisable to seek legal advice even if you feel you may be out of time.
AFCS claims have a time limit of 7 years.
Will my military injury claim need to be heard in court?
It is rare for military injury claims to go to trial and most cases settle out of court. Settlements are funded by a specific Ministry of Defence budget for those who have suffered injuries due to negligence.
Will making an injury claim against the MOD affect my future military career negatively?
This is often a concern raised by those who suffer an injury which is not career-ending, but the MOD is not allowed to discriminate against personnel who bring compensation claims against it after an injury, much like claims against employers for injuries suffered in normal workplaces.
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