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Inquest solicitors

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Our specialist inquest solicitors can help with the questions you want to ask if you have had a family member or someone close to you die suddenly, in circumstances that you don’t understand. Your grieving process sometimes cannot even begin until you have better knowledge about how the death came about. Speak to our team of specialist inquests solicitors on 01616 966 229.

Inquests are held by a coroner in certain circumstances, particularly when a death has happened suddenly and it is unexplained. Inquests will also occur when the death is violent or unnatural. An inquest will always take place if the death occurred in prison or police custody.

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Coroner's duty

A coroner’s duty is to find out how, when and where the deceased came by his or her death. It is not about blame; that is dealt with by others such as the civil and criminal courts.

The coroner has a duty to investigate and make recommendations if there is a finding that any death could have been prevented. It is important to ensure that no one else has to go through the agony of bereavement in these circumstances and making sure that the coroner is able to discover the full facts behind a death and help prevent any similar deaths in the future.

If an inquest into the death of someone close to you is held, you will want to know whether you can ask the questions you have about your loved one’s death. Questions can be asked by a ‘properly interested person’ or their representative.

A ‘properly interested person’ can a parent, spouse, child, civil partner or partner. In addition they can also be any person whose action or failure may have contributed to the death. This could be government bodies such as the NHS, police force etc or one of the witnesses.

If anyone feels they have a right to be involved in the inquest for whatever reason then they can apply to the coroner to request they are declared as a ‘properly interested person’. This will then give them the right to ask questions of any witness either themselves or through a representative.

Funding an inquest

Legal aid funding is only available for inquests in very exceptional circumstances. Sometimes it is worth obtaining legal expenses insurance to fund your case as an alternative to paying for it yourself. We could also offer competitive fees for privately-funded cases.

We will always work with you to find the best option to suit your circumstances and will offer compassion and support during what can be a traumatic time. 

For more information on representation at inquest call our specialist inquest solicitors on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.

Inquest case studies

Our inquest team at Stephensons have acted for and advised the relatives of deceased individuals in a number of tragic scenarios over a period of the last 15 years. These have included:

  • Death following terrorist acts (7/7)
    Initial advice offered to family members of a victim on the inquest procedure and steps likely to be taken by the authorities in the inquiry into the atrocity.

  • Representation of member of the Stirland family
    Prior to the London bombings and Hillsborough inquests this inquest was recognised as one of the most complex in legal history, dealing with the alleged failures of a police force in protecting the Stirland’s who were shot dead at their home in Lincolnshire by a notorious crime syndicate. The inquest took place over four video linked sites, with the court and jury sitting at one location, anonymous witnesses at another and the public gallery at another court building

  • Deaths in custody
    The team regularly act for families of prisoners who have died in custody. These types of inquest are known as Article 2 / Middleton type cases and usually involve a jury and multiple parties. The team have acted in various cases involving the death of individuals in custody by hanging, overdose and lack of medical treatment/diagnosis.

  • Deaths in state care/detention
    The team have acted in a number of cases involving the deaths of individuals detained in a mental health setting or on temporary leave from such facilities. These have included:
    • Deaths by hanging
    • Self-laceration
    • Overdose of illicit substances due to lack of tolerance
    • Deaths by falling whilst avoiding mental health assessment
    • Drowning
  • Deaths involving community mental healthcare and social care
    The team have acted in representing families of individuals who have died in the community and concerns have been expressed regarding the lack of support to their vulnerabilities.

  • Deaths involving road traffic accidents

  • Deaths involving hospital care and concerns over treatment

  • A death involving a barn fire

  • A death following restraint be members of the public

  • Advising family members in the Walkden fire case (Pearson children deaths).

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Inquests reorder

  • Sean Joyce
  • Mike Pemberton