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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

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

RE: Letter to the editor - What a nuisance - Daily Mail (29 August), 29 Aug 2018
RE: Good sense at a premium as insurance profits soar -Yorkshire Post (25 August), 28 Aug 2018
Regional letter campaign - injury claims are not to blame for rising premiums, 14 May 2018
Regional letter - Health and safety should be celebrated, not watered down, 22 Mar 2018
Re: Many NHS victims should settle for an apology - The Times (5 February), 05 Feb 2018
Re: Bruising is the new whiplash - Daily Telegraph (24 January), 24 Jan 2018
RE: Whiplash and tax hikes blamed as car insurance rises by £100 in 3 years - Daily Mail (24 January), 24 Jan 2018
Re: Getting a grip on gritting could spare us a season of broken bones, 20 Dec 2017

More past letters to the press

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