Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
- Direct access to your legal team
- Law Society and AVMA Panel approved
- Transparent costs
- No Win No Fee available**
- **subject to assessment
Inquests: What are they? What happens? Why are they needed.
An inquest is a legal enquiry into the death of a person. The Coroner is obliged to investigate all deaths that are unexplained, violent or unnatural. Sometimes the Coroner can do this without holding a hearing, but not always, and the inquest is the formal hearing do this. The Coroner has to be able to answer the following four questions before s/he can give a Death Certificate:
- Who died?
- When did they die?
- Where did they die?
- How did they die?
The last one is usually the most difficult to answer and what most of the time at the inquest will be devoted to finding out.
The Coroner will ask to hear evidence from various witnesses. In the context of a person who has died in hospital, this will likely involve the doctors and nurses that were involved with the deceased’s care. If you are a family member of the deceased then the Coroner will likely designate you as an ‘interested person’. This means that you are allowed to see the evidence beforehand and ask questions of the witnesses at the inquest. If you instruct us to help you then our expert lawyers or a barrister can do this for you.
The Coroner will come to a conclusion at the end of the hearing. Unless it’s a very complex case, they will usually be able to give their conclusion the same day. Usually the Coroner will make ‘findings of fact’ first and then give a short one or two word conclusion as to how the person died, such as:
- Natural causes
- Accident; or
Will the Coroner blame anyone?
No. The Coroner will not find fault or blame any one person or organisation for a person’s death.
Can I sue the hospital after the inquest?
Yes, possibly. Our expert lawyers will talk you through the outcome of an inquest and whether there is enough evidence to go on and make a compensation claim.
How can I pay for it?
If you would like help at an inquest relating to a hospital death but are worried about the cost, don’t be. Our team can offer a range of options and if there are prospects of a negligence claim after the inquest, then we may be able to offer a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement. Legal Aid funding can be applied for in exceptional circumstances. If you are paying privately we will be completely transparent with fees.
Our trusted team will walk you through the process and be with you for every step of the way. An inquest can be a daunting prospect at a difficult time and you can be assured that with Wilson Browne Solicitors you will have all the help you need.