When a loved one passes away suddenly and unexpectedly it can be an emotional and distressing time.
This can be made even worse when faced with the prospect of having to go through a coroner's inquest and deal with the consequences this may bear.
What is an Inquest?
An Inquest is a formal investigation by a Coroner into someone’s death. The purpose of an Inquest is to answer the following factual questions:
- Who died?
- Where did they die?
- When did they die?
- How did they die?
An Inquest may not be called if the answer to all of these questions is clear, unless specific circumstances apply, such as deaths in police custody.
The role of the Coroner is to discover the answers to these questions in order to finalise the Death Certificate. It is not the Coroner’s job to apportion blame, however they may make recommendations to organisations, such as Hospitals, if they consider that action could be taken to avoid similar deaths in the future.
What should I do if there is an inquest?
Depending upon the circumstances of the death, you may wish to attend the Inquest and speak to the Coroner about your understanding of events and any concerns you may have. The Inquest may be fairly straightforward and the Coroner is able to answer to questions they need to without the need for extensive investigations, however this is not always the case.
Sometimes, other parties may also need to attend the Inquest, such as representatives from any Hospitals who provided care or the Police. In these situations, there will usually be legal representation for the organisations involved and the Inquest will be more formal process with lengthier investigations.
The Inquest process can be difficult and upsetting. Most families find it helpful to have legal representation at an Inquest. This allows you to have the benefit of specialist lawyers making representations to the Coroner on your behalf, and asking the necessary questions of the other parties involved in the death. This also takes a lot of the burden off you, and means you can take in the information as it is discovered.
Our specialist lawyers are able to provide support and guidance through all stages of the Inquest process, and will work with you to instruct specialist Barristers to provide the best representation at any preliminary Hearings and the final Inquest. We will work closely with you so that any concerns you may have about the death of your loved one are properly investigated.
If you would like to speak to a member of our dedicated team for further information on how we can help you in relation to an inquest, please use the request a call back or make an enquiry option to get in touch.