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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Grieving families must be fully aware of legal rights

03 May 2013
APIL news

Bereaved families must be made aware that they are entitled to legal help at inquests, lawyers warn.

Not-for-profit campaign group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) says that grieving families are not always aware of their rights, and that a recently published guide to the coroner’s system does not make them clear enough.

“Bereaved people, already distressed and completely unfamiliar with the coroner system, need to know exactly what their options are,” said APIL president Matthew Stockwell.

Matthew said the Government’s Guide to coroner services has good intentions, but risks allowing vulnerable grieving families to face the court system alone, when those implicated in the deaths of their relatives may well have the benefit of legal help.

“If someone was tragically killed at work, for example, it’s a safe bet that any large company or public body he may have worked for would have help and representation at the inquest,” he explained. “Yet mourning members of the public all too often find themselves unable to follow the proceedings, or effectively relay their loss to the court”.


Notes to editors:

  • APIL responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on implementing the coroner reforms in Part 1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. Questions 4-6 are concerned with the revise Guide to coroner services. APIL’s response it here:
  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e:, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • •Follow @APIL on Twitter:

Past press releases

Government abandons full compensation for injured people, 23 Oct 2018
Extra pressure on NHS if Civil Liability Bill goes ahead, 03 Sep 2018
Bereaved relatives deserve fairness, 31 Aug 2018
Cut whiplash injuries with the headrest test, 15 Aug 2018
Grieving parents of stillborn babies fight for answers, 22 Jun 2018
Lawyers call for outright ban on cold calling for personal injury in Scotland, 01 Jun 2018
APIL, FOIL and MASS join forces for mediation project, 29 May 2018
Grieving relatives cruelly ignored by justice system, 27 Apr 2018

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431