Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Regional newspapers - Legal aid for bereaved families

21 Nov 2017
APIL news

Sir,

When hospitals, the police, local authorities or other offices of the State are involved in an inquest, they often have legal representation funded by the public purse. Yet the family suffering a bereavement, sometimes in the most terrible circumstances, is likely to be refused the same publicly-funded legal aid. 

Without professional support at a coroner’s hearing, distressed relatives are likely to be seriously disadvantaged. They are completely unfamiliar with the process and could miss the opportunity to ask the right questions, or they may have to give evidence without any guidance.  

Some high-profile cases have drawn attention to the plight of bereaved families and I have no doubt that there are readers who have experienced the unlevel playing field first-hand. 

The Home Secretary's adviser on the Hillsborough disaster, the Right Reverend James Jones, has now said there is a "pressing need" for families to be represented.  This cannot be yet another missed opportunity to address this injustice. 

Brett Dixon
President
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
 

Past letters to the press

Medical litigation (The Times 14 July) , 14 Jul 2021
The Times re: Tight leash on whiplash crash claims, 29 May, 02 Jun 2021
APIL calls for time limit on child abuse claims to be abolished , 11 Feb 2021
MoD shirking responsibility to pay compensation to injured veterans after six years, 28 Jul 2020
Regional newspapers: Being late is taken more seriously than being injured needlessly, 28 Jan 2020
The Scotsman re: Rachel Henry and Alistair Kinley: Fraudulent and dishonest claims getting off Scot-free, 16 Jan 2020
To The Scotsman re: Scotland set to become first choice to bring personal injury actions , 04 Nov 2019
Discount rate disparity in Northern Ireland must be addressed - Belfast Telegraph, 16 Jul 2019

More past letters to the press

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