Coroner's Inquests

At JMW, our specialist solicitors are here to provide legal advice and representation if a loved one has died and their death is the subject of a coroner's inquest. Appointing the right legal representative, with the experience and know-how to ask the right questions and get the right answers, is essential in such circumstances. Our team can provide the very best coroner's inquest representation and offer the support and guidance you need at such a difficult time.

To speak to the team and find out more about how our coroner's inquest lawyers can help you today, simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or allow us to give you a call back by completing our online enquiry form.

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Appointing a Legal Representative

The inquest is often a highly emotional experience for relatives of the deceased. It is also unlikely that family members will know the correct procedure for questioning witnesses. This can sometimes lead to a feeling that their concerns have not been adequately addressed during the inquest procedure.

However, appointing a legal representative to attend the inquest will ensure not only that your questions are put to the witnesses, but also that, where appropriate, information regarding a potential negligence claim is gathered.

Accountability

Often, family members wish to see someone held accountable for their loved one's death and to have assurances that similar deaths will not occur. A coroner cannot make a finding of criminal or civil liability or apportion blame for a death. The purpose of the inquest is for the coroner, sitting alone or with a jury, to reach a conclusion (formerly verdict) about how someone died.

There are a range of conclusions available to a coroner, including tradition 'short form' verdicts such as accident/misadventure, stillbirth or suicide. It is becoming increasingly common for coroners to reach a narrative conclusion, which briefly summarises the facts about the death. A coroner or a jury may also reach a conclusion that a death has been contributed to by neglect.

Whilst a coroner cannot make a finding that a person or organisation has been negligent giving rise to a compensation claim, a coroner is able to make factual findings about failures in care in some circumstances. These findings can subsequently be helpful if a family chooses to pursue a claim for compensation.

Regulation 28 Prevention of Future Deaths Report

One of the powers available to a coroner is the power to make a Regulation 28 report. If the coroner feels that the evidence gives rise to a concern that circumstances creating a risk of other deaths will occur or continue to exist, he/she may make a Regulation 28 report, which is sent to the organisation that has responsibility for the circumstances. A recipient of a Regulation 28 report must send a written response within 56 days. Reports are available to the public and the press.

The response must give details of any action that has been or is proposed will be taken, or provide an explanation when no action is proposed.

 

Why Choose JMW?

We understand that coroner's inquests can be very emotional and seem particularly daunting, which is why we are here to provide the representation you need and to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible.

Our team is headed by leading solicitor Eddie Jones and is widely considered one of the best clinical negligence departments across England and Wales. Indeed, some of our solicitors form part of the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitor's panel and a number also sit on the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence.

By choosing JMW, you can rest assured you have an experienced, professional and understanding team in your corner that will ask the right questions and work tirelessly to help you get the answers you are looking for.

Talk to Us

To find out more about how our solicitors can help you with a coroner's inquest, get in touch with us today. Call 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We are friendly and approachable, and getting in touch is the first step to getting the answers you're after.

About Coroner's Inquests

In most cases of death, a GP or hospital doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death, which is sent to the Registrar of Births and Deaths who will then issue a Death Certificate.

However, in some cases the body may be referred to a coroner. For example, if the death:

  • Followed an accident or injury
  • Occurred during surgery
  • Happened after an industrial disease
  • Was unnatural or violent
  • Had no explainable cause
  • Took place in prison or police custody

From here, the coroner may go on to perform a post mortem to find out more about the cause of death. Then, the coroner may launch an inquest - a legal inquiry, held in public, into the reason for and circumstances of the death.

The purpose of an inquest is not to apportion blame, but to answer four questions:

  • Who died?
  • When did they die?
  • Where did they died?
  • How and in what circumstances did they die?


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