Inquests and Fatal Accidents
An inquest is a legal investigation to establish the circumstances of a person’s death, including how, when and why the death occurred. In the context of a case where medical negligence may be a factor, an investigation is held if death was sudden or unnatural, or the cause of death is still unknown after a post-mortem.
Inquests are different from criminal trials because they don’t try to establish blame. Usually, the hospital or other agency will notify the coroner if they believe there should be an investigation. You do, however, have the right to contact the coroner if you have concerns.
If a claim for medical negligence is anticipated, it is important that a solicitor is involved at the inquest stage. This allows the solicitor to gather important facts about the circumstances of the death, which could be used to support a compensation claim. We are happy to advise you at an early stage in relation to inquest formalities and liaise with the coroner’s office.
Medical Negligence Inquest Examples:
We recently represented a client at an inquest following the death of his wife. She suffered from Alzheimer’s and hadn’t been fed for a period of 17 to 18 hours, and when finally given food she choked to death on it.
In another case, we represented the parents of a baby girl, only a few weeks old, who had died. The parents had taken her to the out-of-hours GP because they were concerned that she was unwell and vomiting bile. The parents were reassured. She collapsed two weeks later and was admitted to hospital, where it was quickly determined she required emergency surgery. There was an explosion in the ambulance, later found to be from the air-conditioning unit, which caused a delay of a couple of hours in transporting her to the second hospital. She died the morning after surgery.
Other cases we have worked on:
- Failures during surgery
- Failure to correctly diagnose and treat life-threatening medical conditions such as a bleed on the brain or heart conditions
- Deaths in care homes and other institutions
- A&E negligence, including turning away or discharging patients prematurely
- Over-subscription of a drug resulting in death
- Inadequate care of Alzheimer's patients leading to medical conditions that result in their death
- Over-subscription of a drug resulting in death.
Our approach is to handle this difficult time in a sensitive and practical way. You may have some specific questions, or you may be asked to be a witness at a hearing. This can all be very daunting particularly while grieving.
If the death of your loved-one has prompted media interest, we work alongside media professionals to provide advice and support to handle the situation to ensure that any intrusion is kept to a minimum.
Our team of expert lawyers will help you get to the bottom of what went wrong, working with you throughout the inquest process.
Read more: Inquest FAQs
Get in touch to discuss your case today.
Please contact one of the team to discuss your specific requirements:
Morgan Jones Pett have joined the Hatch Brenner Solicitors team.
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