The sudden death of a loved one is always a traumatic and difficult time. It is all the more difficult when you believe the death has been caused by the negligence of another person or institution.
Most people are totally unprepared for the position they now find themselves in. Some clients are very clear that there was negligence involved in the person’s death, others merely have an inclination that all was not right. To investigate reasons for the death is very difficult to do alone.
We can be of assistance to you. Our dedicated fatal accident and medical negligence solicitors work together with independent medical and accident related consultants who will help you find the answers and pose the appropriate questions in the forum of the Coroners Court.
We will take every necessary statement from you, which you feel can assist the Coroner, and which may be helpful at the Inquest to determine the cause of death.
We will obtain all hospital or other records in the alleged negligence case and our expert consultants will issue a report on their findings.
We will attend with you and on your behalf at the Coroners Court to ask the various questions which require to be answered and make various submissions to the Coroner relevant to the legal and medical facts.
The Inquest at the Coroners Court is not in itself the forum for determining any kind of liability for the persons death. So it is very important that if you are of the view that medical negligence was involved in the sudden death of a family member or loved one that you seek our legal advice as soon as possible after such a death.
An Inquest in Ireland is an official public enquiry presided over by the Coroner in to the cause of a sudden, unexplained or violent death. (The inquest sometimes involves a jury). An inquest must be held because the death is uncertain or unnatural.
The Coroner cannot hold an inquest until he receives a post-mortem report and a post-mortem examination (autopsy), which is a procedure to establish or clarify the cause of death.
There are eight main reasons to hold an Inquest;
- No Death Certificate because a doctor was not present at or prior to death
- No medical attention for an illness which occurred just before death
- No medical examination either during a period of 14 days before death or immediately afterwards
- Death during, or immediately after an operation or following administration of an anaesthetic
- Reasonable cause to suspect that a death was unnatural due to violence, neglect or suspicious circumstances
- No known cause of death
- Death due to industrial disease or poisoning
- Death in the hands of prison or police officers
Where death occurred in a hospital the following deaths must be reported to a Coroner;
- Where a patient dies a diagnosis is not made and the general practitioner is also unable to certify the cause.
- When death occurred whilst a patient was undergoing an operation or under anaesthesia.
- Where death occurred during or as a result of any procedure.
- Where any question of negligence or misadventure arises in relation to the treatment of the deceased.
- Where death resulted from an industrial disease.
- Where death was due to neglect or lack of care (including self-neglect).
- Where death occurred in a mental hospital.
- Where death may have resulted from an accident, homicide or suicide
WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER IN TAKING A MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIM
If you feel that there has been negligence involved in the death of your loved one we will assist you in obtaining answers to the question – what went wrong. We will obtain the deceased’s entire medical or other records. If we are satisfied that negligence occurred we will guide you through the process of obtaining justice and financial compensation.
During the legal process we engage Senior Counsel who have extensive and vast experience in dealing with inquests and fatal accidents. Where necessary we secure the attendance in court of all our expert witnesses and to give evidence in the case should the claim not be settled in advance.