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Medical Inquests

Medical Inquest Compensation Claims

Suffering the loss of a loved one is devastating. It can be even harder to deal with if you discover that the actions of the healthcare professionals entrusted with their care might have contributed towards their death.

Unfortunately, in these cases families are often left with many unanswered questions about what happened during the time immediately before their death.

During this difficult time, we can provide you with a leading inquest lawyer from our specialist team who has the necessary experience in representing clients at inquests and of dealing with fatal accident claims to ensure your interests are properly represented.

Your dedicated inquest solicitor will support and guide you throughout your case ensuring the process is as straightforward and stress free as possible. This will allow you to get the answers you need to try and restore some order back into your life as soon as possible.

Specialists in Medical Inquests

When you choose Hudgell Solicitors you are guaranteed to have full support of a specialist lawyer who will make sure to give you clear information and ensure the interests of you and your family are always taken care of . You will be able to fully rely on your legal representative who will:

  • Obtain reports and analyse medical evidence including the post-mortem.
  • Question key witnesses or medical staff who attend the inquest.
  • Make representations as to the appropriate verdict for the Coroner to reach.
  • Bring a claim for compensation through the Civil courts, if appropriate, after the inquest has concluded.
  • Attempt to secure policy changes – so that other families don’t suffer in the same way in the furture.

 

 

 

 

We are members of INQUEST which is the only charity providing expertise on state related deaths and their investigation to bereaved people, lawyers, advice and support agencies, the media and parliamentarians.

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Making a Medical Inquest Claim

Representing yourself at an inquest is, understandably, a daunting prospect – especially for anyone who is not familiar with the complexities of this legal process. If you’re still trying to cope with the shock and grief of losing a loved one, you may find it hard to stay composed as the details of their death are investigated in public.

By law, you do not need to be legally represented at an inquest. In fact, it is the Government’s view that this process is an inquisitorial process which should focus on determining how the deceased came to die and nothing more. In reality, the organisation or NHS trust which provided treatment will often be represented by a highly-qualified lawyer making it even more important to seek legal support and advice through this time.

If you have questions about how your loved one died and you want to be fully involved in the inquest, it’s a good idea to be represented by a legal expert with detailed inquest knowledge.

How much will my claim cost?

Depending on the circumstances of the non-natural death, it may be possible to secure funding for inquest representation on a “no win-no fee” basis as part of a personal injury or negligence case.

If a loved one has died because of an accident which was not their fault, or a mistake made during medical treatment, there may be a negligence claim relating to their death. Taking this course of action may allow you gain access to funding for an inquest solicitor.For more complex cases which require legal representation, public funding could be an option through the Legal Aid Agency or in some cases – crowdfunding.

We also act for families on a private fee paying basis and will provide you with details of the costs up front.

Getting the right advice is crucial so you can move on with the right course of action for you.

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Our Medical Inquest Expert

Meet Simon Wilson

Head of Inquest Services Group & Senior Solicitor

Simon has been part of the medical negligence team since 2007 and has played an influential role in a number of departments in that time. The main focus of Simon’s work is medical negligence claims and he specialises in providing inquest representation to the families of those who have died as a result of medical mistakes.

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FAQs

What is a medical inquest?
An inquest is the state’s official investigation into the circumstances of how the deceased came about their death. A ‘medical inquest’ is only held when a patient has died following treatment or surgery by a medical professional.
When is an inquest needed for medical negligence?
An inquest will take place in cases of unexpected death, where the Coroner feels an investigation is needed. Usually, it’s very difficult for loved ones to get clarity from the medical professionals involved because of their performance and conduct being under scrutiny. This makes it all the more important for people to seek independent inquest representation to get the much needed answers to their questions. With the right advice and legal support, our medical negligence inquest solicitors can help you take the first step towards getting those questions answered and will guide you through the process in as a hassle free way to minimise any additional stress. At Hudgell Solicitors, we regularly support families through the Inquest process – helping them to scrutinise the care received when it appears as if more could, and should, have been done to prevent the tragedy.
How can our medical inquest solicitors help you?
Due to the increased public scrutiny of an inquest, the NHS and its staff are usually represented by a legal team employed to represent their interests in case of a claim. Coping with the stress and the emotional strain of the situation is difficult enough. A medical inquest is far from easy, and if you have limited understanding of this complex legal process, the next steps can seem unclear. Your appointed inquest lawyer will:
  • Take control of the process and guide you through every step of the way liaising with the Coroner on your behalf.
  • Provide you with regular updates, including timescales.
  • Provide high quality expertise and legal representation at pre-inquest reviews and at the inquest itself.
  • Highlight any failings or negligent acts which may have contributed to death.
  • Take the time to speak to you about any concerns or worries you may have throughout the entirety of the process
What is an Article 2 inquest?
An ‘Article 2’ inquest is a highly-complex area because it investigates whether a sufficiently adequate framework of procedures has been followed, so far as is reasonable, to protect the deceased’s ‘right to life’. An Article 2 inquest will ONLY be allowed by a Coroner if the death occurred in a state-run organisation (such as the NHS, a prison or police station) or as a result of care provided by the NHS and even then only in specific circumstances If we believe a healthcare provider’s procedures have contributed towards a person’s death, we can apply for an Article 2 Inquest to be held into the circumstances. By doing this, the scope of the Inquest’s role can be widened to question whether actions of the state or a particular NHS Trust have contributed to the death.
When is an inquest held?
Under UK law, an inquest is called every time a person dies and the death cannot be explained. If the person had been under the care of the state (police, prison, mental health hospital, NHS, etc), this allows the facts of death to be independently established. It cannot take place until at least six weeks after the death.
What is the purpose of an inquest?
It is the coroner’s job to find out the deceased’s identity, how they died, when and where it happened. During the inquest process, there is a possibility that valuable information which indicates that the standards of care fell short of what was reasonably expected by the patient may go unnoticed. If you are considering a clinical negligence claim, this might help you to pursue a successful case against the NHS or organisation responsible for healthcare providing healthcare.
How long does an inquest last?
Most medical inquests last for between one and five days, but because of their investigative nature the Coroner’s hearing may run for weeks. Usually this depends on the complexity of the case, the number of witnesses and the number of official ‘interested persons’ involved in the case. Once the Coroner has opened an inquest, their investigation MUST be full, fair and effective.
Is a jury required for an inquest?
By law, a jury must be summoned:
  • If the deceased died while in police custody or state detention and the death was violent and/or unnatural and/or of unknown cause.
  • Where the death resulted from an act or omission of a police officer in the execution of their duty.
  • Where the deceased died as a result of an accident, poisoning or disease which must be reported to a government department or inspector.

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