Our personal injury and medical negligence team frequently represent families at inquests. We have experience of inquests where deaths have occurred as a result of accidents at work, road accidents and as a result of suspected medical negligence.
It is difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one under any circumstance, but when you are faced with an inquest, it is important that you participate effectively in the inquest process with the assistance and guidance of a solicitor, if given the opportunity.
What is an inquest?
The purpose of an inquest is to establish the cause of death and the circumstances which led to the death (how, when and where the death occurred). An inquest doesn't apportion blame.
Family and friends often have numerous questions and concerns surrounding a death and it is important for them that their voices can be heard. Our aim is to give them the chance to participate effectively in this process.
Often people want an explanation of the circumstances in which their loved one died, so that lessons can be learnt and similar mistakes won't be made again.
What does the Coroner do at an inquest?
The Coroner will preside over the inquest and will question witnesses. Witnesses may include the nursing and medical staff involved if the death resulted from medical treatment. They could also include police officers and members of the public, if the death resulted from a car accident.
The Coroner will examine evidence, including medical evidence and records of a post mortem, if one was carried out, to determine the cause of death. Sometimes the Coroner will call a Jury, but this is unusual.
If the Coroner feels that the results of the inquest indicate that steps need to be taken to prevent similar accidents, he may draw attention to this issue by writing to a local council or appropriate government official.
Medical Negligence Claim
After the inquest we will advise of any other forms of redress that may be available and whether a civil claim for damages should be pursued.
If you have been reading this section of our website then you may have been recently bereaved. We understand all the difficulties that you currently have to face, but we can help pursue any fatal accident claim for compensation and/or assist you with the inquest process. We can also put you in touch with charities who seek to help people in your circumstances.