According to the Coroners Act 1988 when someone dies “a violent or unnatural death” or “a sudden death of which the cause is unknown,” the death has to be reported to the coronerThe legal official who orders a post-mortem and who is in charge of the inquest procedure.. There has to be an inquest to identify the person and to answer the questions “how, when and where” the person died and if there are to be any criminal proceedingsA prosecution for a crime which arises for example from the circumstances of a death.. (See Section 1.3: What is an inquest?)
Are the procedures the same in all cases?
No. There are different investigations carried out and different legal avenues to pursue depending on the circumstances of the death. In Section 5 of the guide there are details on specific procedures following deaths in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in psychiatric care, at work, or where medical care is involved. This will help you through the processes and also guide you to where you may be able to obtain more help.
The guide also provides information about where to go for help in other circumstances. But the information in the guide will help anyone who has to attend an inquest in any circumstances.
Should I see a solicitor?
If you are worried about the circumstances of the death then you should consider seeking advice from a specialist solicitor as soon as possible (see Section 3: Legal advice).