Coroner’s inquests

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What is a medical negligence inquest?

A medical negligence inquest is a legal investigation into the circumstances surrounding a patient’s death or injury due to medical negligence. It aims to determine the cause of the incident, identify any failures in care, and establish whether any individuals or organisations are responsible for the harm caused.

How Moore Barlow can help

Having an experienced lawyer at an inquest into a loved ones’ death can help ensure you receive answers to any questions you have about treatment provided prior to death. Losing a loved one and having to go through the events leading up to your loved one’s death at an inquest can be upsetting. However, an Inquest must take place if the Coroner has concerns about a death.

A Coroner must investigate a death if there is reasons to suspect that:

  1. The death was violent or unnatural
  2. The cause of death is unknown
  3. The death occurred whilst the deceased person was in custody
Sarah Stanton

Sarah Stanton

Partner | Medical negligence

020 8332 8632

What will an inquest determine?

An Inquest will determine:

  • who died
  • when they died
  • where they died
  • how they died.

The Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for the state to act in a way that infringes rights provided by the European Convention on Human Rights, including Article 2 which imposes an obligation on the state not to be complicit in the taking of life and to have systems in place to protect life. There is a specific duty to investigate where a death may have resulted from a breach of Article 2. In such cases the Coroner will not only investigate how the deceased died but also “in what circumstances” – this can lead to a wider investigation.

At an inquest, the Coroner will hear from family members as well as doctors, nurses, employers and other professionals involved in the deceased’s care and/or the circumstances surrounding their death.

The Coroner will then normally reach a conclusion as to how the deceased came to their death. The causes may include:

  • death by accident
  • death by misadventure
  • death by natural causes.

It is important to note that Inquests are not about apportioning blame, but they present an opportunity to try to get the answers that so many bereaved families often need. It is sometimes the case that the Coroner will discover that neglect has occurred in the care given to the deceased, which can lead to the decision that the death was unlawful.

Inquests are separate to and not like more formal Court proceedings, but having an experienced lawyer present can help families get answers to outstanding questions they may have. If you have lost a family member and there is an inquest into their death, it is important that your views are heard and that there is an appropriate inquiry.

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It is important that you contact one of Moore Barlow’s specialist solicitors as soon as possible, if you believe that a loved one has died as a result of medical negligence.

The sooner you contact us, we can attempt to help you claim some form of compensation and help you and your family. Please contact Moore Barlow if you or a loved one has been affected by medical negligence and would like to claim compensation, or need representation in court.

We have offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking. We deal with clients throughout the country and we will visit you at your home, hospital or rehabilitation unit.

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