An inquest is a public inquiry into the unexplained, sudden or violent death of an individual.
There are many reasons why an inquest may be required. For example, to determine the cause of a person’s death, to establish the identity of a deceased person or to make findings and a verdict.
The purpose of the inquest is to establish the facts surrounding the death and to place those facts on the public record. An inquest is not carried out for the purpose of attributing civil or criminal liability.
The coroner is required to investigate all deaths reported to him or her. A coroner may request that a post-mortem takes place and once the report is available, they may make a decision on whether or not a Court Inquest will be required.
Why would you need a solicitor for an Inquest?
There is no requirement for a family to have legal representation at an inquest. However, in certain circumstances it is recommended that a solicitor and/or barrister be in attendance. For example, if the deceased person’s family have concerns over the care received in a hospital or care setting prior to the death of their loved one.
If a family does have concerns, it is beneficial to have an experienced legal team present to explore any issues around the persons death within the constraints of the inquest process. The inquest can often be considered a fact-finding mission and may be very helpful if the family are considering taking a fatal injury claim.
For further information, or to speak to a solicitor regarding inquests and inquest reports, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nicholas Moore at email@example.com.