Coroner’s Inquest Solicitors
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Our specialist solicitors can support individuals and families at a coroner’s inquest.
Parties involved in inquests are not usually required to have legal representation, but it can be valuable to help you get the answers you need, especially in more complex cases.
Families may find that having a legal expert on their side helps them to get the most out of the process and ensure all their questions are answered, as far as it is possible.
We are most likely to be able to assist with legal representation at an inquest where there may be a related fatal injury negligence claim or human rights issue involved.
This might include instances where a death occurred:
- in police custody
- during detention under the Mental Health Act (deprivation of liberty)
- involving workplace injury
- where medical negligence was involved
- resulting from an accident, such as a road collision
- involving care home negligence
- involving stillbirth or neonatal tragedy.
To find out if we can help you, contact us. Our friendly and understanding team is more than happy to answer your questions.
How much does legal representation cost for an inquest into death?
In most cases, legal aid is not available for legal representation at an inquest, but in some very complex cases it might be.
Most law firms will be able to give you some initial free advice on whether you would qualify for help in paying for legal representation at an inquest.
If the fatality is linked to a negligence case, perhaps due to an accident or medical failings, the solicitor working with you on the fatal injury claim may be able to provide support for the inquest too.
For advice on whether you qualify for legal representation at an inquest, contact us.
What is an inquest?
An inquest is a hearing in a public court held by a coroner to decide:
- who died
- how they died
- when and where they died
A coroner is a special judge who investigates certain deaths – such as violent fatalities or where the cause of death is unknown.
At an inquest, a coroner cannot find someone responsible for a death. These matters must be decided at other courts separately.
The coroner will decide what evidence is heard and what witness statements are read or which witnesses will appear.
If you have a legal representative, they will be able to ask relevant questions of witnesses. You can also do this yourself if you wish.
Your legal representative may also be able to address the coroner on points of law in relation to what conclusions they, or a jury where there is one, could make.
People classified as an ‘interested person’ in the inquest, which includes close relatives of the person who has died, may choose to have legal representation. They don’t have to have a solicitor.“
For help and advice about legal representation at an inquest contact us.
HOSPITAL STAFF WERE UNABLE TO EXPLAIN WHAT WENT WRONG DURING LESLEY'S LABOUR AND WE ASSISTED LESLEY AND HER HUSBAND AT AN INQUEST.
Support for parents at inquest into death of their baby
We were able to help the parents of baby Lesley* to get answers when she tragically died soon after birth.
Pregnancy and labour had progressed normally until the very latest stages when Lesley became stuck and could not be delivered. An emergency caesarean was performed, but sadly, she failed to respond to resuscitation and died shortly after birth.
The hospital staff were unable to explain what had gone wrong.
We assisted Lesley’s parents at an inquest. The coroner was unable to identify any failings but we commissioned expert evidence. A neonatologist reported that Lesley had probably suffered an injury to the brain during the delivery. This affected her breathing which was why she had failed to respond to resuscitation at birth.
*Name has been changed to protect those involved
Why do things go wrong?
There are all sorts of reasons why medical care can be unsatisfactory. Health problems are often complex, so sometimes things go wrong and it is no-one’s fault. Many procedures carry known risks, but doctors should tell you about these risks so that you can decide whether or not to go ahead with the treatment.
When things do go wrong as a result of negligence, there can be a wide range of reasons. Sometimes it is only possible to say what went wrong and not why it went wrong. In other cases, it can be very clear why the treatment went wrong – for example if systems are not followed properly or if the appropriately trained staff are not in place.
Healthcare providers usually have their own systems to monitor when things go wrong. This provides an opportunity for them to learn from mistakes. You might find that a hospital has produced its own “serious incident” report into your care. We often use those investigation reports to help us identify whether there might be a clinical negligence claim.
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Expert inquest legal representation
We have extensive experience representing families and individuals looking for answers from a coroner’s inquest. We will be there throughout the process to provide you with support, while making the right enquiries to find out how your loved one died.0800 044 8488