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This month is National Road Victim Month, a time to remember those killed or seriously injured on our roads.
The immediate aftermath of a serious collision is, for all concerned, a time of shock. Others who have been in the vehicle but perhaps sustained lesser injuries and family members are attempting to process the information provided by the authorities that a loved one has passed or sustained life changing injuries. Any individuals who were at the collision scene will also have witnessed traumatic events. The Police have specialist Liaison Officers who will explain what is known regarding the collision at that time and the process of investigation to follow.
Where a death has occurred it will be reported to the local Coroners’ office they will then establish whether an inquest is required. If they determine that it is (which is usual for a road death) it is then the Coroners’ role to determine the identity of the person who has died, where that death occurred and most importantly when and how the person came by their death. It is not their role to apportion blame or negligence. Often, a Coroner will open the inquest and adjourn this to a date once all investigations are concluded. The Coroners’ office will liaise with bereaved families, the police, doctors, witnesses, mortuary staff, and funeral directors all of this can take time, the Coroner re-listing a final Inquest date once all enquiries are concluded.
The Inquest itself is a fact finding exercise, witnesses will be called to give evidence along with the Police and any other relevant parties. Family members are able to attend and listen, there are often questions that they feel must be answered within the course of the Inquest. This will always be an extremely emotional time and often support is required to help them through the process.
At Ramsdens we have a specialist team of Solicitors who attend and support families at Inquest. We work closely with them to ensure that all questions and concerns are detailed before the hearing date so that a response is provided to each and every one at the Inquest. We recognise the importance of answers whether that be with regard to the collision itself or medical treatment provided at the collision scene or hospital. At the conclusion of the Inquest we will advise with regard to the evidence obtained that may assist with a negligence claim. Nothing will ever compensate for the loss of a loved one but funds reimbursing funeral expenses and supporting with the ongoing loss to earnings will relieve some pressure so that a family can focus on the grieving process and rebuilding their lives.
As Road Traffic Solicitors’ we sadly see too many road deaths and serious injuries caused by reckless and dangerous driving and distraction continuing to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers.
Ramsdens are proud to continue to support National Road Victim Month. To discuss any issues surrounding this please contact our specialist team for a free and confidential discussion on 0113 887 1834 or text CLAIMS to 80988. Alternatively, fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time suitable to you.