Apil moves to help accident victims

THE Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil) is set to launch a charter for victims of injury later this month which will call for a raft of reforms designed to help accident victims.

The organisation held a fringe meeting at last week's Labour Party conference to discuss the proposals and will meet again at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool this week.

It has already published a list of possible demands, but a spokeswoman stressed that they were still under consideration and would be finalised by the end of the month.

Apil will then lobby parliament as part of a campaign for change.

Among the proposals being considered for inclusion in the charter is a reversal of the burden of proof in cases where the accident victim is an innocent party, such as a passenger, so that the onus falls on the defendant to disprove fault.

Also under consideration are calls for:

an increase in the level of damages for pain and suffering;

access to all medical records for victims of medical accidents;

more damages for bereaved parents;

the full and prompt release of information held by the police and the Health and Safety Executive after accidents;

the training of more specialised judges to enable them to deal more effectively with cases;

a review of the procedues for fatal accident inquiries.