Loved ones of services personnel who are fatally injured on duty should know that, with the right legal advice, they are due the same compensation as civilians if negligence played a part in their loss. In one case that underlined the point, the widow and children of a soldier who died in a road accident involving a faulty Army Land Rover have secured £775,000 in damages from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The Lance Corporal, aged 29, was a passenger in the vehicle when it suffered a tyre blowout and hit the central reservation of a trunk road in Suffolk. It came to rest precariously across the outside lane. Its lights failed and, as the soldier got out in order to assist other passengers, it was struck at speed by another vehicle. He died of his injuries in hospital later the same day.
After lawyers launched proceedings on behalf of his family, the MoD admitted full liability for the accident and agreed to settle the claim. A police report revealed that the tyre burst because of earlier damage and that the vehicle's lights had failed because its batteries had not been correctly secured. The High Court approved the settlement.