Medical Negligence
By Conal McGarrity
Latest News

Professional Advice and Guidance About An Inquest Claim

We at, P.A.Duffy & Co Solicitors provide expert advice, representation and support to families of those who have died as a consequence of medical care and treatment. Where medical intervention or omission has been implicated in a death, the Coroner’s function is to enquire into the cause of death and obtain certain specific information. Whilst the Coroner directs the enquiry, the Inquest can provide, to the family of the Deceased, a valuable opportunity to investigate the circumstances of the death and treatment leading up to it.

We are regularly instructed to represent bereaved families at Inquests following the death of a loved one. We not only prepare the families of the deceased for the hearing of the Inquest, we also represent and advocate for them at hearing, providing clients with a personalised, professional and consistent service from initial instruction to final resolution.

What Is the Purpose of an Inquest?

The Coroner’s role is to direct his or her investigation to find out:

  • Who the deceased was

  • Where they died

  • When they died

  • How they died

The last point is very important, particularly for any civil fatal accident claim for compensation. To succeed with a fatal accident claim it will be necessary to prove that breach of duty in medical care caused or led to a person’s death; in other words, their death would have been avoided with a reasonable standard of medical care.

A Coroner will be interested in this but they are not usually able to comment specifically on these legal tests and nor do they criticise healthcare professionals or Hospitals because unlike the adversarial civil litigation process the Inquest process is inquisitorial and does not attribute blame.

What Happens at the Inquest?

The layout of Coroner’s Courts tend to look like an ordinary court room inside. The Coroner will sit at the front of the room and the legal representatives will sit on benches facing him/her. If there is a jury they will normally be seated to one side of the room so that they have a clear view of the witness box, the legal representatives and the Coroner. Family members of the deceased will normally sit behind the legal representatives.

If you, or someone you know, has lost a loved one and need professional advice and guidance about an Inquest claim, contact P.A.Duffy & Co specialist team today on 028 8772 2102. Alternatively, you can email us, find us on Facebook, or send us a message on our live chat and our team will get back to you straight away.

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