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Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence Inquests South Wales

If a family member or loved one has died due to suspected medical negligence, an inquest may be held to investigate the surrounding circumstances. Medical negligence inquests can be very upsetting, which is where the support and guidance of experienced solicitors can prove invaluable.

If you are due to attend a medical inquest, our team can work alongside you, acting as legal advocates to provide specialist advice to help you through such a difficult time.    

We understand that, while medical negligence inquests can provide you with much-needed answers, they can also be very distressing. That is why our medical inquest solicitors in South Wales will help you with the full process, as well as taking the first steps to making a medical negligence claim following the outcome of the inquest.

Our medical inquest solicitors in South Wales have over 30 years of experience in helping clients in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend through the inquest process and beyond.



Why choose Devonalds for medical negligence inquest support?

For over three decades, the team at Devonalds have been supporting the people of South Wales with a wide range of medical negligence matters, including medical inquests. As such, we have developed a strong connection with the local community, with many of our team being born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area. This is just part of the reason why we are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

When you come to us for support with medical negligence inquests, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible. When working with our team, you can be sure that any questions you have will be answered promptly and in plain English and you will always be informed if there are updates you should be aware of.

The prospect of being involved in a Coroner’s inquest due to medical negligence can be understandably daunting. We will make sure that the process remains as straightforward as possible and that you understand exactly what actions need to be taken after the inquest has concluded.

Speak to us about medical negligence inquests today

For assistance with medical negligence inquests in South Wales, or to discuss starting a medical negligence claim following a medical inquest, please contact your local team in Bridgend, Caerphilly, Church VillagePontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.

How medical negligence inquests work

The medical negligence inquest process

Medical inquests may be launched if it is suspected that sub-standard medical care, or a medical mistake, had resulted in a patient’s death. A local Corner will likely be instructed, either by a family member of the deceased or by a hospital, to investigate the death.

The inquest will focus on answering the following four questions:

  • The identity of the deceased
  • Where they died
  • When they died
  • How they died

It is important to note that an inquest is not made to establish if medical negligence has occurred or not, nor are they carried out to place blame on an individual or organisation.

Before a medical inquest begins, the Coroner carrying out the investigation will gather as much evidence as possible regarding the deceased and will also decide who will provide evidence at the inquest. This will typically include family of the deceased, medical practitioners involved in the care of the deceased and any legal advocates.

The Coroner will also ask additional questions to better understand what treatment was provided and the exact cause of death.

Our dedicated medical inquest solicitors can represent families at inquests, providing support during what can prove to be an overwhelming process. We will take the steps to review all the relevant documentation, obtain witness statements, represent you on the data and support you with the next steps that need to be taken.

Starting a medical negligence claim following an inquest

No win, no fee medical negligence claims

While a medical inquest will not establish whether negligence occurred, they can be the start of medical negligence proceedings. If the findings of the inquest indicate the medical care the deceased was substandard and/or mistakes directly contributed to their death, it may be possible to pursue compensation.

Following the outcome of a Coroner’s inquest into medical negligence, our team can advise you on whether making a claim would be in your best interests, the realistic chances of success and the amount of compensation you may be able to claim.

You will be under no obligation to pursue a medical negligence claim with us following the outcome of a medical inquest, but you will have all the information you need to make an informed choice about how to proceed.

We are able to offer a Conditional Fee Agreement for most medical negligence claims, otherwise known as ‘no win, no fee’. No win, no fee claims do not involve upfront payments. Fees are only applied if we are successful in securing compensation and, if a claim is not successful, you won’t owe us anything.

The cost of your medical negligence claim may also be covered by the defendant, meaning you may not be required to make any payments.

Valuing a medical negligence claim

Assessing how much medical negligence compensation you could be entitled to claim is known as ‘assessing quantum of damages’. The compensation you could recover covers financial and non-financial aspects such as:

  • Funeral costs
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of earnings
  • Counselling services
  • Loss of benefits

The value of the medical negligence compensation may also take the findings of the medical negligence inquest into consideration.

Time limits for medical negligence claims

There are strict time limits for medical negligence claims, including where someone has died as a result of medical negligence. This means that it is often important to act quickly following the conclusion of a medical inquest.

Generally, the standard time limit for fatal medical negligence claims is three years. This is the standard time limit for making a claim after a loved one’s death. The three-year countdown starts from the date they die or you should have been reasonably been aware negligence occurred.

Out-of-court settlements for medical negligence

Our medical negligence solicitors prioritise amicable solutions to claims, with voluntary settlements often being the main focus. This is typically a quicker, less contentious and cheaper process compared to litigation.

Our solicitors have strong negotiation skills and experience in assisting clients to reach settlements through alternative dispute resolution.

If your claim goes to court

If court proceedings are the only way forward in order to secure compensation, our team also have the experience to help you achieve a positive outcome. We work alongside specialist barristers and professional experts, so can make sure that your case is constructed as effectively as possible.

We know that heading to court can be a daunting prospect. As such, we can make sure that you are supported every step of the way, ensuring that you understand exactly what to expect from the process.

Common questions about medical negligence inquests

What happens at a medical inquest?

At a medical inquest, the family and any other relevant parties will attend the Coroner’s Court. Unlike other court cases, there is no prosecution and defence.

The Coroner then proceeds to run through their investigation into the death, with the support of the family, their legal advocates and independent medical experts that have been instructed to provide their opinion on how the death was caused.

Can a Coroner rule negligence?

No, a Coroner is not able to directly rule that an individual or organisation was negligent. In some cases, they can make factual findings of any failures that took place, which could then be used during a future medical negligence claim.

How long does a Coroner's inquest take?

If an inquest is due to take place, it can be months or in some cases years before a final hearing takes place. This will ultimately depend on the complexity of the legal and medical issues surrounding the death. Most Coroners will aim to complete an inquest within 6-9 months of the initial report of the death.

Can a funeral be held before an inquest?

Where a medical inquest needs to be held, a funeral can only take place when the Coroner is satisfied that the body is no longer needed for the investigation. Even where the Coroner is going to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, the funeral can still take place as soon as the body has been released.

Are inquest findings made public?

Yes, medical inquests are public processes and the findings are made public.

Are medical inquests held without a jury?

Since 2013, medical inquests must be held without a jury. There are limited exceptions to this, including where the Coroner believes there is a compelling reason to include a jury.

Speak to us about medical negligence inquests today

For assistance with medical negligence inquests in South Wales, or to discuss starting a medical negligence claim following a medical inquest, please contact your local team in Bridgend, Caerphilly, Church VillagePontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.


Why Choose Devonalds Clinical Negligence Services?