Non Freezing Cold Injuries

If you or a loved one has suffered a non freezing cold injury (NFCI) while in the military, DPP Law can help. 

We know that claiming against the MoD can feel stressful and upsetting, particularly while dealing with injury or illness. Our team will offer understanding and support throughout your case. Call us today on 0333 200 5859.

Due to the amount of time members of the armed forces spend outside, the development of a cold-weather injury is a real risk.

In the military, a non freezing cold injury may lead to serious consequences. This condition, also often referred to as trench foot, maybe severe – limiting your performance and ability to work. This can be very costly and upsetting for you and your loved ones.

Chilblains, too are a common condition that may be mild or serious depending on how quickly they are treated.

MoD duty of care

The MoD has a duty of care towards members of the armed forces. It is vital that they protect you – or your loved ones who are serving in the military – just as any employee should be protected.

This means that steps should always be taken to prevent injury, by ensuring that:

  • All personnel are properly trained
  • The correct equipment and protective gear is provided
  • All equipment and protective gear is in full working order
  • Proper risk assessments have been undertaken
  • There have been thorough planning

Commanding officers should:

  • Recognise and provide treatment for non freezing cold injuries and chilblains
  • Help you understand how to recognise and prevent these conditions
  • Ensure that you have the right clothing and equipment to prevent injury of this kind (such as gloves or boots)
  • Work to prevent dangerous amounts of time spent outdoors in inclement weather
  • Make sure all personnel have time to get warm and dry after spending time in cold, wet weather

If you can prove that you or someone you know has developed a non freezing cold injury in the British army, navy, RAF, Special Forces or reserves that the MoD failed to prevent, you may be entitled to injury compensation.

How our military injury solicitors can help you

If you wish to claim for non freezing cold injury compensation, our military injury experts can offer you excellent legal advice.

We are highly experienced in assisting our clients to make claims against the MoD.

Claiming against the MoD can be emotionally difficult, and doing so while struggling with an injury or illness can compound this feeling. 

However, it is your right to claim compensation when your commanding officers have neglected their duty of care, and our team will remain by your side from the beginning of your claim to the end to ensure you receive the support you need.

We will treat your claim with sensitivity and great care. We can help you to gather evidence of failings on the part of the MoD and present your case at a hearing.

Should your claim be rejected, or should you receive insufficient compensation, we can also help you to appeal.

Your claim should never affect your future career.

Along with the matters above, our solicitors can also advise you on:

We can also help you to apply for compensation under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).

Frequently Asked Questions

What are NFCIs and Chilblains?

Both NFCI and chilblains may occur if a part of the body – usually the feet – is exposed to the cold and wet for long periods.

They can cause great discomfort and can make it difficult to work.

Non freezing cold injury symptoms may include:

  • Strong pain that does not go away easily
  • Discolouration of the skin on the affected area – usually reddening or yellowing
  • Swelling
  • Extreme sensitivity to cold

The pain of an NFCI may last for months, and the sensitivity may continue indefinitely.

Chilblains symptoms may include:

  • An area of burning or itching skin with the sensation becoming worse when warmed
  • A patch of skin turning red or dark blue
  • Swelling
  • Occasionally blistering or a breakout of sores

Chilblains will usually heal by themselves within a fortnight as long as they are not repeatedly exposed to the cold. However, it is possible to develop serious infections from broken skin on chilblains.

If any of the above problems significantly affect you and have a serious impact on your life or work, you may be able to claim compensation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

What are the time limits for a military claim?

This depends on the type of claim you plan to make. If it is a civil personal injury claim, you have up to 3 years from the date of the injury in question. In special circumstances, this may be extended. DPP Law’s armed forces solicitors can inform you if you qualify for a longer time limit.

If you are making a claim via the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, you may have up to 7 years to claim.

Am I eligible to claim for a NFCI?

You may make a claim if you can prove that you or a loved one received a non freezing cold injury while in the military. If it is a personal injury claim, it must be clear that neglect on the part of the MoD contributed to the injury.

Claiming under the AFCS, however, does not require you to prove blame.

You may claim whether you are currently an active member of the armed forces or not. Reservists and veterans may also claim.

How much compensation will I receive?

This depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injury and its impact on your job.

Under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, you may be awarded one of a number of tariffs of compensation. Your payout will usually fall between £1,236 and £650,000.

If your condition is so severe that you have to leave the military, you may also receive monthly GIPs (Guaranteed Income Payments). These are payments designed to cover loss of earnings.

Whether your non freezing cold injury has forced you to leave the military or not, you may still be entitled to compensation.

The military solicitors at DPP Law can support you throughout your claim. We will provide clear and transparent advice so that you understand your position at all times.

Even if you have been rejected by the AFCS, you may still be able to appeal or to make a personal injury claim. It is vital that senior officers and the MoD are held accountable for the welfare of armed forces members.

For further information and advice, contact DPP Law today.

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