We provide inquest advice and representation in all types of cases where someone has died following medical treatment.

The death could have been as a result of misdiagnosis or inappropriate care in a medical setting, such as from the following treatment providers:

  • hospitals
  • GP surgeries or home visits
  • district nurses
  • community health teams
  • birthing centres
  • mental health hospitals/wards
  • private psychiatric units.

If a coroner has decided to hold an inquest into the death of your loved one, we can work with you and your family throughout this process, striving to ensure that all relevant evidence about what happened is brought to light.

For example, we work to collect and make available all medical records and other key documentation and will make submissions to the coroner to request that all relevant witnesses provide evidence for the inquest.

As well as preparing for the inquest, we will also attend the inquest alongside you and act on your behalf to question witnesses and to seek an appropriate conclusion (previously known as a ‘verdict’) in the inquest. We will do our best to support you and your family, and to ensure that a thorough investigation takes place into the circumstances of the death.

For more information on what an inquest is please see our guide on inquests.

Where an inquest has already taken place, or if the Coroner has not decided to hold an inquest, we can advise you on bringing a civil claim to investigate whether the care or treatment was of an appropriate standard.

Our legal professionals and support staff work closely with families to establish their concerns and then advise on the best plan of action at each stage of the inquest and claim process to reach their objectives, whether that is investigating fully what happened, getting an apology or working to get policies and systems changed to ensure that no other family has to suffer the loss of a loved one in a similar circumstance.

Will I have to pay legal costs?

An inquest or a civil claim can be funded in a few different ways, many of which come at no cost to you.

It is best to call us to discuss the funding option that is right for you, however if you want to find out more about what we might be able to offer take a look at our funding page here.

Financial compensation

If you wish to seek financial compensation for the your loved one’s death, this can help you with any expenses you may have incurred, such as funeral costs, as well as provide you with compensation for financial and practical support that your loved one used to provide to you or to others; this might include compensation for the loss of their salary into the household, the pension they would have been entitled to, or for additional childcare you now require as a result of their death.

Understandably, financial compensation isn’t always what the family is after following the death of a loved one. We’ll strive to find the answers to your questions about what happened, and help ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family.

Useful links

What is an inquest?

What is a pre-inquest review hearing?

Inquests: a glossary of legal terms

Recent cases

P attended A&E when he was struggling to breathe. At hospital P’s tonsils were found to be extremely swollen and he was placed on an antibiotic drip. He was later discharged with antibiotic tablets, despite the fact he was unable to swallow and felt unable to breathe properly. P later choked on an antibiotic tablet because his throat was so swollen. The lack of oxygen causing him to also go into cardiac arrest. P never regained consciousness and died in hospital. Tragically several of his family members witnessed his choking and collapse.

We were able to support and represent P’s family at the inquest into his death. The coroner concluded that the hospital hadn’t followed its own guidance properly. They had not performed a proper assessment and had not provided him with appropriate treatment.

After the inquest we secured an admission of liability from the hospital for causing P’s death and we advanced a claim thereafter. This included compensation for the loss of earnings and reduced pension arising from P’s death, as well as for psychiatric injuries suffered by the family who witnessed his collapse and the recommended treatment they required.

R was 18 years old when he passed away in hospital. He had a complex medical history and was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia meaning that he needed daily steroid replacement. If he became unwell this medication needed to be supplemented with IV steroids.

R was admitted to hospital with severe constipation and vomiting. Due to his symptoms he was unable to take his medication orally.  Unfortunately, R was not given the regular IV steroids he required, despite the family requesting this repeatedly, meaning he went into cardiac arrest and sadly died.

We supported R’s family at the inquest and made submissions to the coroner, who concluded that the hospital’s neglect had contributed to R’s death. We suggested that the coroner produce a Prevention of Future Deaths report to ensure changes were made to the hospital processes. She prepared a report recommending that changes be made to hospital prescription systems to ensure that a patient like R could never miss a crucial dose of steroids, which could save countless lives.

After the inquest, we were also able to secure an admission of liability for R’s death and obtain compensation for his family.

S underwent elective hip-replacement surgery. The procedure was successful and he was discharged a few days later. However he quickly became unwell and was admitted to hospital with a chest infection and vomiting. S tested positive for a C-Diff infection and his condition deteriorated further. There were several gaps in the administration of the antibiotics which had been prescribed to treat the infection. There were also issues with the standard of nursing care S received. Ultimately, S suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away.

We were able to assist S’s family at the inquest into his death. The matron involved in S’s case agreed with our point that there had been failings in S’s care and that the hospital had failed in its duty of care, which had contributed to S’s death.

Following the inquest we continued to support S’s widow in advancing a claim for damages, to compensate her for the financial losses she suffered as a result of her husband’s death.

More from our team

Why Teresa chose our inquest team

We spoke to our client, Teresa, about why she chose Royds Withy King for her inquest and compensation claim. Making a fatal claim or undergoing the legal process of a coroner's inquest can be a very stressful time. Our legal team are experts in this field and can help you through this complicated time in your, and your family's life.

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