The Armed Forces team at JMW understands how devastating the loss of a loved one in a military accident can be, and our team is on hand to guide and support you through this difficult time

Making a claim for compensation following the loss of your loved one can help you find out what happened to them and ensure that those left behind have financial security. 

To speak to a solicitor about making a claim for a fatal military accident, get in touch with us today by calling 0345 450 9547, or if you would prefer us to call you, complete our online enquiry form.


In the Armed Forces, the loss of a loved one can have far-reaching implications; you may be at risk of losing your home and the loss of a military “family”. However, we can help you make appropriate arrangements.

JMW feels that the armed forces should be held to their duty of care to ensure service personnel can carry out their responsibilities with the risk of unnecessary injury. If those in charge have failed in this duty of care, they should be held accountable for any incidents that occur as a result of their negligence. 

We can advise you on Armed Forces Compensation Scheme benefits, such as Survivors’ Guaranteed Income Payment and Child Payments.

A legal compensation claim for dependents will also take into account your loved one’s salary and military benefits, including military accommodation and pension, thereby providing financial security for the future.


There are many incidents caused by negligence that can cause a fatality in the military. These include:

  • Malfunctioning equipment
  • Unsafe working practices
  • Inadequate training and supervision
  • Injuries during operations
  • Heat injuries
  • Negligent firearm discharge/gunshot wounds
  • Friendly fire
  • Assault

If a member of your family has died in an accident during their time in service and you suspect negligence contributed to it, speak to our solicitors as soon as possible.


How will compensation help?

Financial compensation following the death of a loved one can help you with funeral costs, as well as provide the financial support that you may need. This includes loss of your loved one’s salary, military accommodation, their pension and help with additional childcare. 

What happens after a death in the military?

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will usually carry out a Service Inquiry. This is an internal MoD investigation that is held after a military accident, which results in death or serious injury, in order to understand the circumstances, and any changes to procedures or equipment to prevent a recurrence.

They may also undertake a Learning Account, which is an immediate “lesson learning” investigation to prevent any recurrence whilst a full investigation is held.

An inquest will also be held by a Coroner.

The purpose of an inquest is to identify where, when and how a death in the military occurred. Some military inquests are more detailed as they have to comply with Article 2 “Right to Life” of the European Convention on Human Rights. In these cases, the Coroner will investigate the broader circumstances of how the person came to die; this might include the training they had received, the planning of the military exercise they were undertaking and any risk assessments carried out.

There are three main stages to an inquest:

1. Post mortem - an autopsy is carried out to determine the cause of death
2. Pre-inquest review hearings - these are hearings where the practical steps are made for the inquest hearing. This can include:

  • Determining the scope of the inquest
  • Determining whether Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights applies
  • The disclosure of documents
  • Collecting witness statements
  • Arranging which witnesses will need to give evidence
  • Agreeing on a date for the inquest hearing

3. Inquest hearing - this is where all evidence is presented to the coroner; witnesses will be questioned and the Coroner will give a conclusion, which will be noted in a Record of Inquest form. The Coroner may also make a Report to Prevent Future Deaths.


If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident in the military that was caused by somebody else’s negligence, our expert solicitors are here to help you. Get in touch by calling us on 0345 450 9547, or if you would prefer us to call you, complete our online enquiry form.

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Meet Corporal Andy Reid MBE: JMW's Armed Forces Ambassador