Inquest support when you've experienced the loss of an infant

The distress of infant loss can be greatly exacerbated by concerns that there has been substandard medical treatment and that the death could have been avoided. An inquest can help answer your questions.

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Specialist representation when your child has died

The death of a child is truly devastating, and initially it can be difficult to see past the grief and practical arrangements.

A coroner will call an inquest to determine the cause of death if this is not apparent from the medical history or the post mortem, or if there are any unanswered questions surrounding the circumstances of the death.

Our inquest specialists work with you to share the burden of the legal process; guiding you through each step, and ultimately, helping you better understand why your baby or child died.

Our specialists will do their best to progress the case at your pace and in a way which suits you best. We appreciate that it is an incredibly sensitive and difficult time. All our inquest staff have been trained by and are accredited by the Foundation for Infant Loss.

We can also put you in touch with specialist organisations who can provide invaluable further support during this difficult time.

Do I need a solicitor for an inquest?

There’s no obligation to instruct a solicitor for an inquest; you can represent yourself if you wish. However, there are many benefits to having a solicitor represent you, particularly where the hospital/treatment provider is likely to have legal representation.

We strongly urge people to consider specialist legal representation for an inquest in all but the most straightforward and uncontroversial deaths.

The formalities and procedure of an inquest hearing are likely to be a daunting prospect for the family of the deceased, particularly whilst grieving for the loss of their loved on;  having your own lawyer fighting your corner will ease the burden.

Furthermore, the other Interested Parties are likely to be far more familiar with the process outlined above and will also have their own legal teams acting for them. This can mean that family members who represent themselves feel intimidated and ill-prepared when faced with experienced advocates.

Will I have to pay legal costs?

An inquest can be funded in a number of ways, many of which come at no direct cost to you. All of our funding options can be seen in our guide here. We always recommend getting in touch to discuss this with us, as we can then offer the best advice for your particular case and circumstances.

Is this just about money?

If a loved one’s death has been caused by negligence, we can help secure financial compensation for you and your family.

Compensation can help you with any expenses incurred as a result of the death, such as funeral costs. It is also possible to claim compensation for the parents or family members if the circumstances of the death have caused a psychiatric injury, or any related loss of earnings.

However, we also understand that families may not have financial compensation as their primary aim. Wherever possible we strive to get answers to your questions about the death, seek an apology and work to bring about changes to ensure that no other family has to suffer the loss of a loved one in similar circumstances.

How can RWK Goodman help you?

Our dedicated inquest team will fight on your behalf and guide you through the process, making it less daunting and ensuring that you get the best possible outcome.

Even if no inquest takes place, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation where negligence has caused or contributed to the death of your loved one. See our fatal claims page for more information.

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Deaths involving the police
When your loved one has died following police contact or whilst in police custody, you and your family will want answers to understand how the death occurred or why your loved one was not kept safe.
Fatal injury claims
If you’ve lost a loved one it will undoubtedly be a very distressing time for you and your family. This is especially the case if you believe the death occurred as a result of an accident or due to substandard care.
Inquest or fatal claim
If you are concerned that a loved one’s death may have been caused by an accident or substandard care, a distressing time can be made even worse. Here we explain whether you may wish to bring a claim for damages, whether an inquest may be appropriate, or both. We will guide you through the process from start to finish.

Read our bereavement guide

What you might need to know when your child dies.

Our specialists have put together a comprehensive guide to help you know where to start with the practical steps after someone dies.

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