Our experienced inquest solicitors can help you understand and navigate the inquest process during this difficult and distressing time.
We can assist wherever you are based and have particular experience working on deaths in custody by police shootings, by restraint and those which occur through self-harm.
Free Initial Telephone Discussion
For a free initial telephone discussion, please call us on 020 7404 3004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch shortly. We can help clients wherever you are based across England and Wales.
What is an Inquest?
An inquest is an inquiry into how, where and when a person has died. The investigation is carried out by a Coroner.
A Coroner has a duty to investigate the death and is able to make recommendations if it is found that the death could have been prevented.
When is an Inquest held?
An inquest is held when a person dies in certain circumstances, such as if a person dies in a sudden, violent or unnatural way, if the cause of death is unknown or if there are concerns about the cause of death.
An inquest will usually take place if the person has died in prison, police custody or state detention, which can include immigration detention centres and psychiatric hospitals.
What happens during an inquest?
An investigation takes place before the final inquest hearing to obtain evident for the inquest, which can involve taking statements from anyone who was present at the time of the death. A post-mortem examination may also form a part of this process.
The post-mortem is an independent examination of the deceased’s body to investigate the cause of death and is it done by a suitable medical professional. The medical professional will prepare a post-mortem report to be read at the inquest.
Pre-inquest review hearing
The Coroner may decide to hold one or more pre-inquest review if the inquest is a complex one. At the hearing, practical arrangements are decided by the Coroner and interested persons.
Before the inquest, witnesses are chosen by the coroner to give evidence at the inquest and provide written statements.
During an inquest, the coroner will take the witness through their respective statements and ask questions to ascertain the deceased’s cause of death.
At an inquest, the ‘properly interested person’, such as/who are/who can be the deceased’s parents, children, spouse, civil partner or their legal representative also has the opportunity to ask questions of any witness. A properly interested person can also be a person whose actions may have contributed to the death. A person can also apply to the Coroner to be declared as a ‘properly interested person’.
Any questions asked must be relevant to determining the cause or circumstances of the deceased’s death. After the witnesses are questioned, the coroner will summarise the evidence and then the coroner.
At the end of the inquest, there will be a conclusion made about how the deceased died. The conclusions include:
Accidental death or misadventure
Alcohol or drug related
Open verdict, when the coroner or jury does not have enough evidence to give a conclusion as to how the deceased died
How our inquest solicitors can help
It is our experience that the central aim of a bereaved family is to find out as much information as possible about the circumstances of the death and to ensure that lessons are learnt from their own tragedy so that others may not have to suffer as they have done.
Our specialist inquest solicitors have considerable experience in supporting families in finding answers about the circumstances of how their family member/loved one died. Your inquest solicitor will provide you with legal representation at pre-inquest reviews and at the inquest itself. We will also ensure that you are informed and advised about the inquest process and kept up to date with the inquest procedure and timescales. Your inquest solicitor is also able to liaise with the coroner on your behalf if necessary. We will help you to put your questions and requests for relevant documents to the persons or agencies involved.
Why Choose Us?
Our inquest solicitors understand that the inquest process can be daunting and we can guide and support you through the inquest process and provide you with expert advice. Even though we are small and personal firm, our inquest solicitors have had experience in representing families in high-profile inquests.
Our work with families is informed by your needs so that you are able to understand, participate in and contribute to the entire process where the circumstances of the death are to be investigated and determined.
In the event that individuals or organisations are suspected of having caused or contributed to the death, actively or through a failure to take care, we seek to ensure that they are brought to account for their conduct.
Our inquest solicitors represented family members in the inquest of the death of 38-year-old Paul Reynolds, who died after being restrained by the neck by security staff at a holiday park in 2017. The Guardian reported on the inquest here:
We also represented family members in the inquest into the tragic death of Matthew Mackell, a teenager who took his own life in a park in Tunbridge Wells in May 2020. Matthew had called Kent police for help before his death and the inquest into his death was reported by the BBC here:
We also work closely with the specialist charity - INQUEST.
How do I pay for my legal fees?
Please contact us to discuss your circumstances and possible funding options. If you do not have the finances to pay for legal advice, you may be eligible for Legal Aid funding.
How to get in contact
For a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel Cooper at DanielC@ikpsolicitors.com or 020 7404 3004 to talk about your case with our team.
We can assist wherever you are based and have offices in central London.