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  • Overview

    What happens at an inquest?

    An inquest is a public hearing held by a coroner when the circumstances of the death are unclear, as happens in some cases of medical negligence. The coroner will hear the evidence and reach a verdict as to the cause of death. The inquest is not about apportioning blame.

    Inquests can also occur as a result of a fatal accident or industrial disease.

    Legal representation at an inquest into medical negligence

    As a member of the family of the deceased, you are entitled to ask questions at the inquest or be represented by a lawyer. Many relatives are daunted by the prospect of standing up at an inquest. We often represent them.

    In preparing for the inquest we:

    • Obtain copies of the deceased's medical records
    • Discuss any concerns you or other family members have relating to the death
    • Prepare questions to be put to any witnesses giving evidence.
       

    In cases of clinical negligence, the medical team who treated the deceased will be asked to give evidence and to be subject to cross-examination. If poor medical care is suspected before the inquest then it is important for you to be represented by a lawyer who is experienced in both clinical negligence and attending inquests. Information can come to light during the course of the inquest that can be of use in a subsequent medical negligence compensation claim.

    Our expertise representing families at inquests

    Our clinical negligence team regularly advises and represents families at inquests into deaths where medical negligence is suspected. We are usually able to provide initial advice and represent you at the inquest free of charge.

    Examples of inquests where we have represented the family and subsequently succeeded in a clinical negligence claim are:

    • A psychiatric patient who committed suicide by throwing himself under a train
    • A mother suffering from postnatal depression who hung herself whilst being treated at a mother and baby unit
    • A wife who died as a result of an untreated ruptured aortic aneurysm
    • A small child who died as a result of being given too much IV fluid
    • A six month old baby who died from untreated meningitis
    • A husband who died from untreated post-operative complications.
       

    Clinical negligence investigation and compensation claims following an inquest

    • If the deceased died when receiving medical treatment and there are concerns that the treatment caused or contributed to the death, a clinical negligence claim may follow the inquest
    • Our lawyers act particularly sensitively because of the stressful nature of bringing a medical negligence claim after the loss of a loved one. We make the process as easy as possible for you and to guide you through each stage of the investigation as the case progresses
    • Our overriding aim is to protect your interests and achieve the most advantageous outcome for the long term. We make sure your case is fully investigated and create a team of specialists made up of:
      • practising medical consultants
      • barristers
      • our clinical negligence lawyers.
    • We can also help you find out why the system failed you and your loved one and prevent the same thing happening to somebody else.
       

    Useful links

    The Coroners' Society

    Bereavement advice centre

    Free initial consultation

    Contact one of our team of specialist lawyers for a free, no obligation, consultation and we will listen to the circumstances of your medical treatment, and give you clear advice on the chances of your receiving compensation in a clinical negligence claim. If we think you have a claim, we can investigate your case using the financial security of a no win no fee arrangement.

    Call us ON 01892 510 000 or fill in our short enquiry form and we will assess your fatal accident compensation claim.

     

     

  • Related Client Stories

    GP failed to attend home of mother who died from pneumonia

    Patricia Fearnley, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, has secured a six figure sum the husband and children of a mother who died from necrotising streptococcal pneumonia and multi-organ failure, after GP failed to attend her at home.

    Death after out-of-hours GP fails to take medical history

    Jennifer Waight, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, has secured £14,000 for the widower of a woman who died after her GP failed to take a full a medical history and to appreciate the seriousness of her condition.

    Delayed diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis causes death

    Fiona Mills, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) Offices, has secured over £340,000 for the family of a women who died following a delay in the diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis and cerebral oedema.

    Award for spinal injury in road traffic accident

    Jonathan Clement and Oliver Chapman, specialist personal injury lawyers based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, have secured £95,000 for a front seat passenger who was injured in a road traffic accident in which the driver died.

    Investigation uncovered falsified patient’s medical records

    James Cahan, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells Office in Kent, has secured compensation for the family of a mentally ill man who died as a result of a failure to provide adequate monitoring. During the investigation a nurse admitted falsifying medical records to cover up the negligence.

    Death after intestinal obstruction & peritonitis

    Fiona Mills, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) Offices, has secured over £80,000 for the family of a woman who died following a failure by Bedford Hospital to recognise her symptoms of intestinal obstruction and peritonitis following surgery for a bowel strangulation.

    Compensation for loss of wife following failure to diagnose and treat fractured ribs

    The clinical negligence team demonstrated their expertise when they recently recovered damages for the surviving husband of a lady who died after cardiac arrest following the development of a haemothorax due to fractured ribs. The case settled for an undisclosed award plus legal costs.

    Patient dies after absconding from psychiatric ward

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who negotiated a settlement of £85,000 for the wife and daughter of a man who died after being allowed to wander out of a psychiatric ward.

    Inquest: coroner gives verdict of misadventure after baby dies one day after birth

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who represented the family at the inquest into the death of their baby son, who died at one day old, having been born in an extremely poor condition.

    Patient suffers acute heart failure following negligent management of post operative complications

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who obtained £15,000 compensation for a woman when her husband died from post operative complications following a right total hip replacement.

    Kent hospital fails to prevent elderly lady's pressure ulcers leading to a painful death

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who represented the family of an elderly Kent lady at the inquest into her death caused by pressure ulcers.

    Hospital's failure to treat brain aneurysm causes barrister's death

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who recently settled the claim of a widow whose barrister husband died following his transfer from Kent to a London hospital with a suspected brain aneurysm.

    Hospital negligence leads to death of wife and mother from asthma attack

    This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who acted for the husband and sons of a 45 year old woman who died within a few days of her admission to a Surrey hospital as a result of her first ever asthma attack.

    Inquests

    This case demonstrates the expertise of our Personal Injury team and how they can ease the strain on families who have just lost a loved one and are faced with going through an inquest. The team were able to allow the family to grieve whilst we looked objectively at the evidence and assisted the coroner in reaching their decision.

  • Latest Updates

Get in touch

Dominique has been very supportive - and patient - throughout the process. I have often found it difficult, and because of stress and other circumstances in my life I have often taken a long time to face up to the situation and complete things that need to be done

Client

Tom was really helpful he explained very clearly and what would happen. Thank you

Client

Clients are impressed with his performance, saying: 'He's very much a detail man; very careful and very thorough'

Chambers UK 2015

Thomson Snell & Passmore's 'consistently professional and accessible' team is led by Fiona Mills. Graham Bell is noted for his 'excellent eye for detail'

We are very grateful to you for your hard work, your sensitivity in dealing with some frequently painful material, and the consistent lucidity with which you have kept us informed of the different stages of the claim

Client

In a meeting with Patricia Fearnley I was struck by her immediate understanding of the situation, and also by her warmth and sympathy, which reassured me that I had made the right choice of solicitors to deal with our case

Client

I always feel listened to and have been treated very well

Client

Overall a very good and responsive service - I wasn't anticipating this. The process of claiming under this area of law is more complicated than I thought it would be but it was translated very efficiently to me.

Client

Thank you so much for the professional way you have dealt with the case, your kindness is very much appreciated.

Client

You have helped make a difficult situation bearable.

Client

Jenny was very good at thinking of all the options and sought good experts in supporting my case; I was pleased with the outcome

Client

I would like to express my extreme gratitude to you for all your hard work.  

Client

Any time I needed to ask a question or needed any explanation about the case, James Cahan was there at the end of the phone. He answers his own phone so I felt as though I was getting a very personal service. I was never made to feel uncomfortable or a nuisance as I had felt with an earlier solicitor. Communication was excellent throughout, using emails, telephone and letters.  

Client

My case was earlier rejected by another firm of solicitors yet Mr Cahan could see that there was a case to answer. With the expert medical witnesses which he sourced, good communication and sound advice, I felt very confident in his hands that we would get a successful outcome.

Client

Very nice people. Really made the case a lot easier to understand; they were always there to help.

Client

James Cahan's approach was exemplary, he was both approachable and understanding at all times.  

Client

As mentioned, I was very impressed at the start! As the case grew and went on, I felt completely safe, and trusted Jonathan to act in my best interests, though everything was always run by me before going ahead with anything, without the experience and knowledge.

Client

They worked as hard as possible to get me a result that I did not think I would end up with. The communication with my lawyer and his staff was excellent, and I felt at ease discussing such private matters with my lawyer, which is a rarity for me as I am a very private person.

Client

My lawyer was very friendly and easy to talk to, and I always felt he was working his hardest on my case.

Client

Oliver was very helpful and friendly, and settled the case within a short space of time.

Client

Kept me up to date with all stages of the claim. Fees were good, and Oliver was a very helpful and friendly.

Client

I would like to thank Jenny and her team for all their hard work and efforts during what has been a very traumatic 3 years.  Throughout this period, Jenny has been on hand with reassurance and advice.  At the same time, she assembled an excellent team of experts, which enabled me to reach a successful conclusion.

Client

I cannot thank Jenny and her team enough and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend TS&P, Debbie, Jenny and Patricia highly enough. Many thanks again for your professional conduct throughout.

Client

I am so grateful to TS&P for all their work and help with my mother's case; it was a very complicated and time-consuming case.

Client

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