Coroners are obliged to investigate deaths which occur within their jurisdictions, where these were violent or unnatural, the cause of death is unknown and/or the deaths occurred in custody or otherwise in state detention (Section 1(2), Coroners and Justice Act 2009). The aim of the investigation is to determine who the deceased was; how, when and where they came by their death; and the particulars which need to be registered under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 (Section 5(1), Coroners and Justice Act 2009).
Lucy Wilton appears in The Law Society Gazette saying: "The government says that inquests are non-adversarial, so families don't need legal representation. But that is not the experience of families, who can be faced by several different legal teams when they themselves have nothing. Although a coroner tries to be neutral – how can anyone be neutral after hearing several well thought out questions from one side - designed to protect the mental health trust - and nothing or poorly formed questions from the other?"
Legal aid for inquests: time to level the playing field? is available to read via The Law Society website.
Lucy is a partner in the clinical negligence and personal injury team. Her expertise covers cases involving alleged negligence on the part of hospitals, individual doctors or other medical practitioners (including GPs, private doctors and physiotherapists) and on the part of nursing or care homes. Lucy's work also includes a wide range of personal injury cases, including road traffic and other types of accident.