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Fatal Accident Inquiry in Scotland: Why family members should have their own lawyer to represent their interests.

Most people have limited experience of legal proceedings and for this reason when they do become involved in such matters the experience can be daunting and possibly overwhelming. This is all the more so when the hearing is in relation to the death of a loved one as will be the case with family members involved in a Fatal Accident Inquiry.

Fatal Accident Inquiry – Legal Representation by a Lawyer

The Procurator Fiscal deals with the investigation and initiation of proceedings. Families are kept advised but the Fiscal has a wide range of responsibilities in preparing for and conducting an FAI. Separate representation for the family can bring a more direct line of communication for grieving relatives and greater reassurance that their concerns will be articulated during the hearing. Hearings can involve complex health and safety issues, legislation, court rules and procedures. There can be a number of expert witnesses involved using unfamiliar and technical terms which can be explained by your Solicitor.

Important evidence can come out at the Inquiry and family members often wish to be present and represented. A Fatal Accident Inquiry has the main aim of attempting to establish the circumstances that led to the death of the person, rather than establishing blame. It can be confusing for the family particularly if there is more than one body open to criticism.

Often at Fatal Accident Inquiries corporate bodies who have an interest in the case , such as the employer if the death occurred in a workplace are generally present and have their own expert Solicitor there to protect and promote their interests. An unrepresented family can often feel that there is an imbalance in questioning when other people or bodies seem to have lawyers acting for them when there is no one specifically present to represent them.

Legal Aid for a Fatal Accident Inquiry

Legal Aid is available for the Inquiry (FAI), subject to the usual affordability tests. If you wish to check whether or not you (or indeed another family member) may qualify for legal aid then please contact us. We are happy to check whether or not you qualify for legal aid without obligation or fee.

At McCarthy Law we have experience of dealing with Fatal Accident Inquiries and representing families, we know the procedures and the technical language. We are happy to discuss to see if we can assist you with your legal needs.

Call us on 0141 337 6678 or fill out our enquiry form.