Losing a loved one is always a traumatic experience.
In many cases, the cause of death is clear and therefore further investigations are not required. In other cases, however, the circumstances surrounding the cause of death are far from clear. It may be, for example, that the death occurred in prison, police custody or in hospital in unusual circumstances. Certainly, where the death is connected in some way to the State, an Inquest will take place.
In other cases, the death may have occurred in an accident at work, in a road traffic accident or the deceased may have taken their own life.
To say that an inquest increases the stress and anxiety for the family at what is already a very difficult time is an understatement.
What is an Inquest?
The purpose of an Inquest is to carry out a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death.
Depending upon where the death occurred, authorities including the Police, Prison Service, Probation Service, NHS hospitals and mental health services may all be legally represented at the Inquest.
Members of the deceased’s family, known as “Interested Persons” have the opportunity to ask questions of the authorities who were involved with the deceased prior to his/her death. Importantly, therefore, the Inquest is a forum in which the family can hopefully get answers to questions as to how their loved one died. Indeed, it may be the only opportunity the family has to get answers.
In some cases, where there has potentially been a breach of the right to life, for example where the death occurred in prison or police custody, the Inquest is known as an “Article 2” Inquest and as such, there is a procedural duty on the state to investigate the death in order to secure effective implementation of the laws which secure the right to life and to ensure accountability for deaths involving state agents.
It is therefore very important for you to be represented at the Inquest so as to ensure that your needs are not overlooked in what can unquestionably appear to be an extremely daunting process.
How can we help you?
At Swain & Co, we have specialist lawyers, led by Melanie Lidstone-Land, who will ensure that your interests are taken care of and that your questions and concerns are raised.
We can assist with Inquests relating to:-
- Deaths in Police custody
- Deaths in prison
- Deaths in hospital in unusual circumstances (eg where medical negligence is suspected)
- Deaths in psychiatric units
- Deaths at work
- Road traffic accidents
We will liaise with the Coroner’s Office on your behalf and with other Interested Persons involved in the Inquest.
You do not need to face this alone.
We are the Peoples’ Lawyers which means we believe that you and your family should be one of the most important considerations at an Inquest.
We will strive to ensure that you are kept informed and that all steps along the way are fully explained to you. Our aim is to take the stress of the Inquest away from you, whilst at the same time, ensuring that your interests are properly protected.
Public Funding is available for Inquests. But alternative funding may be available which we look at on a case by case basis.
To get advice regarding Inquest representation and how we can help you, call us free on 0800 0351 999 today and ask to speak to Melanie Lidstone-Land or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.