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Fatal road traffic accidents: inquests determine when a claim can be made

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In the Lancashire Telegraph today, 30 May 2011, there is a report of a fatal car crash which left one 43 year old BMW driver dead and another driver and passenger injured in hospital.
The accident happened on what has been named a ‘black spot’ on a notorious blind bend. Reports say the local residents’ association has been campaigning for improved road safety measures in the area for some 14 years.
Police are appealing for witnesses and have taken information from the BMW’s telemetry system which should be able to tell them the speed the vehicle was travelling at and when the brakes were applied.
Inquest to determine cause of accident
An inquest will look to ascertain how the accident happened, and whether fault lay with either of the drivers, or was due to some other factor. The driver of the other vehicle, a Mondeo, suffered a fractured collarbone and his female passenger was detained in hospital with an injured kidney. A young child also in the Mondeo was miraculously uninjured. Whether any action to pursue compensation can be taken by the injured party, or the family of the deceased driver, depends of course on the outcome of the inquest.
Alton Towers coach crash inquest: coach not defective says owner
In 2008, a coach returning a group of workers from a day trip to Alton Towers crashed, killing one of the passengers and seriously injuring five more, including the driver. An inquest is underway and it was recently reported on the BBC News website that the owner of the coach firm has stated that the bus was not defective and therefore not to blame. Stringent safety checks were carried out by the company she said, with each of them undergoing a regular 28-day check.
It remains to be proved how the crash happened and the inquest will seek to establish whether anyone was to blame. Once this has been determined, the family of the fatally injured passenger and the others who suffered can begin proceedings to recover compensation.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal road traffic accident, take legal advice immediately, even if the incident is subject to an inquest. At Stephensons we have extensive experience and a well proven track record in recovering the highest levels of compensation possible after fatal road traffic accidents, and we’ll work with you, sympathetically and tenaciously, to ensure a just result. For confidential advice, call us on 01616 966 229.
By personal injury solicitor, Kate Sweeney