No war is without cost. Although factors such as technology, training, and equipment have improved over the years, soldiers will die during conflicts. In a combat situation, it is quite possible for a member of the armed forces to perish through enemy fire, bombs, or improvised explosives.
Many of these incidents will, tragically, be unavoidable. However, it seems that during the Iraq conflict, numerous deaths among American military personnel were actually caused by accidents – and it has been claimed that many of these could have been prevented.
According to the United States Department of Defence, 72 soldiers in Iraq succumbed to illness, committed suicide, or were killed during accidents between September 2008 and April 2009. In contrast, during this period, 67 personnel sustained fatal personal injuries during combat-related incidents.
Although this was a snapshot of the conflict, which started in 2003, it was claimed that American servicemen in the country were more likely to perish in these "non-hostile" situations than incidents which involved contact with the enemy.
The research also showed that, over a period of six years, more than 500 members of the American armed forces succumbed to incidents such as vehicle collisions and falls from height. Moreover, at least 180 military personnel sustained fatal injuries from "accidental gunshot wounds".
The data showed these particular fatalities, which often occur when a solider inadvertently fires his or her weapon, were especially prevalent amongst individuals who had recently arrived in the country. Consequently, it was suggested that superior officers were failing to adequately train these people to handle firearms.
Amongst American servicemen it was revealed that 20% of all fatalities in Iraq were caused by "non-hostile" wounds. Furthermore, these accidents were also responsible for almost half of all fatal personal injuries in the Afghanistan conflict.
Shockingly, when comparing this statistic to other American wars, these figures suggest that military personnel deployed to the conflicts in Vietnam and Korea were actually less likely to suffer fatal accidents than their modern-day counterparts.
Although this data focuses on American servicemen, soldiers in the British military could also be facing similar problems.
If you sustained personal injury during an incident which was not your fault, you should contact Seth Lovis & Co today to enquire about our military accident claims service.
Military accident claims through Seth Lovis & Co
At Seth Lovis & Co, our team of specialist military accident solicitors have helped numerous injured military personnel claim compensation for the negligence of another person.
To find out if you are also entitled to receive damages, or to obtain legal advice, please complete an online enquiry form. Alternatively, call us today on 0808 252 0678 to speak to a member of our experienced team.