Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs) are held under the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016. An inquiry must be held in cases of death in custody or as a result of an accident at work.
The purpose of an FAI is not to apportion blame for the death in either the civil or criminal sense. An FAI may be held in other cases of sudden, suspicious or unexplained death, or death in circumstances that give rise to serious public concern. Decisions on whether these discretionary inquiries are held are made by the Lord Advocate.
A Fatal Accident Inquiry is essentially a fact-finding exercise carried out in the public interest. The rules of evidence and the standard of proof are as for civil cases in Scotland. The purpose of an FAI is to determine:
Where and when the death took place
The cause of the death
Reasonable precautions whereby the death might have been avoided
The defects, if any, in any system of working which contributed to the death or any accident resulting in the death
Any other relevant facts relevant to the circumstances of the death.
Procurators Fiscal investigate around 14,000 sudden deaths each year. There are usually around 50 or 60 Fatal Accident Inquiries in Scotland each year.
Fatal Accident Inquiry recommendations are made by sheriffs at the conclusion of all FAIs.
Thompson Family Law Solicitors have substantial experience in appearing and conducting FAI’s. Legal Aid can be made available for representation of the Family’s interests and this frequently occurs. It is also possible to sometimes confuse a FAI issue with that of Negligence – it is extremely important to obtain the correct advice to distinguish the respective remedies.
Fatal Accident Inquiry Solicitors Glasgow & Coatbridge
If you wish to discuss a potential FAI or negligence, get in touch with our solicitors in Glasgow. We tailor solutions specifically to your requirements; delivering cutting-edge advice and skilful court representation where needed. Contact us now via our online contact form, or give us a call on 0141 404 6575.