Professional, specialist legal advice for Mental Health Inquests
If a mental health inquest has been ordered, following the death of a loved one or relative, we can help you get the answers you need to help you come to terms with your loss. Our experienced inquest specialists combine an in-depth knowledge of mental health law with the compassion and understanding to help you through a difficult, emotive situation.
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When is a Mental Health inquest necessary?
A mental health inquest may be ordered by a coroner in certain circumstances. For example, if the deceased person was resident in a mental health facility or had sought or received treatment from such a facility, an inquest may take place.
Compared with a medical inquest, a mental health inquest does have some specific challenges. Because mental health issues are less visible, it may be harder to find definitive answers to some of the questions raised in a mental health inquest.
How can legal advice help me at a Mental Health inquest?
In recent years, NHS mental health trusts have increased their spending on legal representation at mental health inquests. This could be down to a number of factors, such as the increased public awareness of mental health issues. Although some families receive Legal Aid funding, this is very rare, so families of the deceased are often at a disadvantage, compared with the organisation that is being investigated.
Mental health inquests often focus on ensuring that processes for mental health treatment are fit-for-purpose and have been followed correctly. These might include the way that such services are accessed by the public, the way that they are assessed and referred for treatment, and the way that the treatment is delivered. An important purpose of inquests is to highlight failings, with a view to improving processes, to help avoid similar deaths in the future.
How is legal advice funded?
In some instances, the coroner may ask for Legal Aid funding to ensure that legal representation is funded. However, this is very rare and in other cases you can either fund your representation privately, or you could fund it through a Conditional Fee Agreement (otherwise known as a 'no win, no fee' agreement). This can be arranged if we feel there is a case for negligence as a result of the inquest.
Whichever way you fund your legal representation, you won't need to pay for anything without your prior agreement - we can discuss your circumstances with you and agree the best way to proceed and advise you on how to fund any legal advice and representation.
How can Switalskis help me?
Our inquest team includes some of our most experienced specialists. Not only do they have very thorough knowledge of this area of the law, but they also have the compassion and understanding to help you through a very difficult process. If the inquest finds that negligence may have contributed to the death, you may be able to claim for compensation against the negligent party. As experienced specialists in Medical Negligence and Mental Health law, if this should happen, we will be well-placed to provide you with continuous, consistent legal advice without having to find a separate law firm.