Personal injury lawyer praises UK coroners

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Personal injury lawyer praises UK coroners

3rd August 2009

A leading personal injury specialist has welcomed news that half of all UK coroners took advantage of a change in the rules allowing them to make recommendations to prevent future deaths.

Karl Tonks, partner with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the publication of a new Ministry of Justice report showed that coroners had embraced the new guidelines, under Rule 43 of the Coroners Rules.

"An amendment to the Coroners Rules in July last year introduced a new statutory duty for organisations to respond to these reports and also gave coroners powers to share their reports more widely," explained Karl.

"In our work we have often seen coroners returning verdicts where they have made it clear that the introduction of a policy or process could help to prevent further deaths," he said. "But up until this change in the rules, there was no obligation for the organisation concerned to respond.

"This report clearly shows that coroners across the country are using the new power to great effect," said Karl.

The July report - the first of this kind published by the Ministry of Justice - revealed that 57 of the 115 coroner jurisdictions in England and Wales issued reports under Rule 43 between 17 July 2008 and 31 March 2009. The reports were sent to a wide range of organisations and institutions.

Given that the most common category of Rule 43 reports was in relation to hospital deaths, NHS hospitals and Trusts were the most frequent recipients. They received 31% of the reports issued by coroners. Ministers and central government departments received 19% of the reports, while local authorities received 14%.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in pursuing compensation claims relating to fatal accidents.

If you think that you have a case, or if you require further information, please contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - Ministry of Justice