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Finsbury Park terrorist attack: rebuilding lives

Following the guilty verdict in the trial of Darren Osborne, Dushal Mehta who, alongside Partner Keith Barrett, is representing several of those injured in the terrorist attack, spoke to BBC Radio 4 Today about the importance of rebuilding lives.

"This trial has been a horrendous ordeal for all those affected by the attack last June, particularly those called to give evidence in court, who had to come face to face with Darren Osborne," Dushal said.

"Several of our clients have been left severely physically and mentally injured, affecting their whole lives. They have lost their jobs because of those injuries and have been unable to look after their wives and children as they would want.

"This is a proud, committed community who have joined together around the injured to support them in every way possible. They are reluctant to ask for outside help.

"We continue to work with the insurers of the van used as a weapon by Osborne to provide medical rehabilitation. But the mental scars suffered by the whole community are much more difficult to repair."

Civil claims for victims of terrorist attacks

 A change to the law weeks before the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 saw the terrorism exclusion clause removed from certain insurance cover. This means insurers of vehicles used as weapons, as at the Finsbury Park Mosque, can be sued for compensation by those injured, supported by the Motor Insurance Bureau, the insurance industry fund.

Compensation should therefore be more realistic than in the past, where victims have had to rely on the government run Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) which has been criticised for failing to offer sufficient support to victims of terrorism.

 Jill Greenfield, head of personal injury at Fieldfisher, said that the change is vitally important to victims of Finsbury and Westminster.

"We have a lot of very seriously injured clients whose access to rehabilitation would have been much more difficult before the change in the law.

Image: Olof Lagerkvist [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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