LPC Law Notes > Cambridge/Oxilp/College Of Law LPC Law Notes > Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Notes
Fatal Accidents Notes
This is a sample of our (approximately) 7 page long Fatal Accidents notes, which we sell as part of the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Notes collection, a Distinction package written at Cambridge/Oxilp/College Of Law in 2014 that contains (approximately) 63 pages of notes across 8 different documents.
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Fatal Accidents Revision
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FATAL ACCIDENTS INQUESTS Inquest procedure
Opens at death Under s. 8(1) Coroners Act 1988, an inquest is required where there is a o Violent/unnatural death o Sudden death with unknown cause o Death in prison o Death in such place/circumstances as to require an inquest in pursuance of an Act Evidence is mostly oral Pathologist usually starts - up to coroner Own representative asks him questions last R. 22 Inquest Rules - no self-incrimination Coroner summation of evidence, determination and reports to prevent future deaths
Aim/purpose of inquest
Strictly limited to establishing: o The identity of the deceased o How, when and where the deceased died o The particulars required by the Registrations Act to be registered concerning death Inquests are NOT to establish responsibility, blame or liability for the death Value to litigants o Documents o Witnesses o Lawyers attend and can follow up on evidence emerging o Lawyers should attend inquests on behalf of their clients Value of inquests o Spotlight of public concern o Families get closure
He is usually a qualified doctor AND barrister, although this is not a requirement The coroner is responsible for the inquest procedure and decides: o Post-mortem
Coroner will usually direct when a post-mortem takes place
The post-mortem report is vital evidence and immediate request should be made to the coroner for a copy o Documents
Coroner chooses which documents go before the court (no right to disclosure like in civil litigation) o Witnesses
Decides who will appear
Witnesses NOT obliged to answer questions which would incriminate them
If they do answer, they will waive this privilege o Evidence
What documents will be needed Sometimes coroner is joined by a jury (if the death occurred in prison/police custody)
Where an accident results in a fatality, a criminal prosecution of those thought to be responsible will often follow If such a prosecution occurs, the claimant's solicitor should attend court to obtain details of the circumstances of the accident and take notes of the evidence
Industrial disease Want of attention at birth Accident/misadventure Unlawful killing Open verdict (i.e. insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion) Suicide Natural causes Neglect
Steps to take after the inquest
Obtain transcript Letter of claim to council Obtain police accident report/plan/photos Interview witnesses and prepare statements Obtain documents from council o Works notes o Risk assessment o Requests for equipment e.g. road signs o Instructions as to placing of signage Consider accident reconstruction expert Calculate damages
Questions that may be asked of witnesses to a fatality
Would you be able to confirm the exact location of the accident?
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