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Clinical Negligence
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Clinical Negligence

Inquest / Fatalities

Inquest / Fatalities

We understand that dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult, especially if this may have been caused by their medical care. You might be asked to attend an Inquest to try and find out how the deceased died, which can be a daunting prospect.

It is important you have the benefit of legal representation at the Inquest. We can help answer any questions and offer advice. We can often represent you at no cost if we also act for you in a clinical negligence claim in the same matter.

To give you an idea of what happens at an Inquest, you might find the following information helpful.

An Inquest is an investigation into the death of an individual where it is reasonable to suspect that the person has died:

  • A violent or unnatural death; or
  • A sudden death of which the cause is unknown; or
  • In Prison; or
  • In such place or in such circumstances as to require an Inquest in pursuance of any Act.

The Coroner is the person responsible for the Inquest procedure and he is an independent Judicial Officer. Although no absolute obligation is placed upon the Coroner, usually he will request that a post-mortem takes place. A post-mortem report is often helpful during the early stages of investigation into a clinical negligence claim.

The Purpose of the Inquest

The strict purpose of the Inquest is limited to finding:

  • Who the deceased was;
  • How, when, and were the deceased came by their death;
  • The particulars required by the Registration Act to be registered concerning death.

As the purpose of the Inquest is to confirm the above, the Coroner will always limit questions concerned with civil liability, such as a clinical negligence claim. However, with careful questioning it is often possible to obtain very helpful evidence to support a subsequent clinical negligence claim.

At the end of the inquest the Coroner will give a verdict. Where a standard short-form verdict is not sufficient in the Coroner’s mind, the Coroner may choose to give a narrative verdict which explains the circumstances which led to the deceased’s death, as found at the inquest.

We regularly attend Inquests on behalf of families, to make sure that the questions of the family are addressed at the Inquest and important evidence obtained. If you require legal representation at the inquest into the death of a friend or relative, contact us for advice and help.

Procedure at the Inquest

The inquest is formally opened without any significant evidence being given and the formalities are carried out by the Coroner sitting alone. Evidence will be called concerning the death at the resumed full hearing, with representatives (which may include lawyers) attending. The majority of evidence at the resumed Inquest will usually be given orally by a witness on oath. The actual order of calling the witnesses lies entirely with the discretion of the Coroner.

The Coroner will normally then examine each witness so that the evidence is heard in the same order as the events leading to the death. Once the Coroner has dealt with the witnesses, each interested party will be allowed to question them.

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Carl R

I was very happy with the way they handled my case and still got the result even in these hard times where having at the moment thank you to all involved and I’d recommend you to others

Angie L

Williamsons solicitors were professional, caring and efficient. They dealt with what was, a very upsetting experience I had via medical negligence. They kept me up to date, enquired about my well-being and were always available to either speak to me when I had concerns or answered my emails. They ensured that the compensation I finally received was in my best interests by advising what they thought was a too low first offer of settlement. I cannot thank them enough for the way they handled my case and for pushing for a better higher settlement figure. I would definitely use them again should I ever be in a position to need them Thank you so much.

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Throughly pleased with all aspects of the service, always updated on every change, or new information regarding the sale of our house and purchase of the new property. Everything went smoothly and couldn't fault the attention to detail and customer service. Thank you to Beth and all who assisted in the process.

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Sue W

In May 2017 after a long & painful road of recovery wich is still ongoing today. I finally plucked up the courage & decided to approach Willams Solicitors as I felt that there was something very wrong with the poor service i received in March 2015 from 1 1 1. Having made two calls over the weekend. Inspite of right leg being in immense pain & stone cold I was told that i had probably pulled a muscle nothing they could do for me & to visit my GP So after a weekend of struggling with pain i visited my GP to be rushed to Hospital with absent pulses in the right foot. On examination there was a blood clot on my right knee caused by Critical ischaemia nothing whatsoever to do with a pulled muscle. I was told i needed a thrombosis procedure to dissolve blood clot if this was unsuccessful they would have no other choice than to amputate below the right knee I was devastated Thanks to this amazing solicitors who advised me that they felt 1 1 1 had possibly been neglectful & would like to take my case on. With an outstanding Nick Gray becoming my solicitor & the amazing team of experts including Julian Matthews an absolutely brilliant barrister Vascular surgeons experts Professor sir Peter Bell & Professor Shearman who were also amazing in highlighting the Hospital were neglectful as well & need not of removed my leg & could have avoided amputation. All of the other team of experts who helped with this case as well were very good In fact I had a fantastic team i couldn't fault Williams solicitors at all. They proved all 3 defendants to be negligent & they got me an amazing settlement far more than I could ever dreamed of & in a short space of time A huge thanks to Nick Gray & his fantastic team inside & outside Williams I can start rebuilding my life knowing I can afford to have & get the very best in making life a lot easier. I can't have my leg back but I can now smile again knowing life won't be a struggle. I would strongly recommend this Solicitors to anybody who needs a professional honest caring & worth every penny Solicitor you will not be disappointed. Once again a massive Thank you to Nick Gray & all his team ❤ Sue Willoughby

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Very impressed with Suzanne, Beth & Natalie at the Bridlington Branch, they give 100%, will use them again & recommend them to friends & family.

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Williamson’s provide an excellent service at a reasonable price. Very easy to deal with and excellent communication was provided all the way through the transaction. Just what you need in a solicitor.

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I would highly recommend Williamsons Solicitors, Gordon represented me for my case and was excellent. Always on the end of the phone when I need him. overall top job thankyou. Mr Lloyd Milner

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Friendly service straight to the point no messing around ... from start to finish less then 4 month Yana had every thing in hand many thanks

Mr and Mrs Rollinson

Excellent service from start to finish Alison Craven explained everything in detail making sure we understood

Broadley H

Excellent service from Williamsons throughout a very protracted property transaction. Carey was patient and helpful at all times and we would highly recommend Williamsons based upon our experience. Thank you :)