Personal injury claims span a vast area law, varying in degree of complexity depending on the severity of injury sustained and the circumstances surrounding the incident. As a general principle cases typically follow the same legal framework; party A was negligent in their duty or behaviour which resulted in party B sustaining an injury.
For cases involving individuals held in custody or an institution of the state, to successfully pursue a personal injury claim there must be an additional third element present. Where an incident occurs in this context, this indicates that there has been a breach of Article 2 and 3 under the Human Rights Act 1998. Article 2 grants every individual the right to life imposing a legal obligation upon the State. Article 3 prohibits the inhuman or degrading treatment of an individual.
Sadly in abuse cases, claims against public authorities, and inquests there will have been a violation of one or both of these articles. This may take the form of a preventable suicide where the prison authorities failed to identify a risk of self harm resulting in an individual’s death, or the result of another inmate’s actions. Where there is sufficient evidence to suggest the necessary safeguards weren’t taken, despite there being substantial evidence that an individual is at risk of harm be it by themselves or others, it can be argued the authority has omitted their legal duty. This would then warrant grounds for a compensation claim against the State.
Inquests in particular are a notably complex area of personal injury law. Although these cases do not result in significant compensation, it allows the family of the deceased with the opportunity to gain much needed answers regarding the death of their loved one. The financial reward may not be great, but inquests are often vital in providing families with a sense of closure.
Due to restrictions in legal aid, practitioners in this area of law are unable to recover the costs. Here at Farleys Solicitors our specialist Inquest department are listed as a franchised firm meaning that the Legal Aid Agency will cover the legal fees where an individual has died whilst in State detention. This allows families to overcome financial restraints that may otherwise prevent them pursuing legal proceedings.
As recognised leaders in this technical area of law our team of expert solicitors have the skills and expertise to assist you during what is understandably a difficult time. To arrange a free initial consultation with a solicitor who specialises in inquests and claims against detaining authorities call Farleys on 0845 050 1958. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.