Evidence Given to a Coroner Can Support Legal Claims

Inquest transcription is a sought-after service. When someone close to you dies, it can be hard to think straight. But, for your own peace of mind, it pays to seek professional legal advice. If you have doubts over the cause of death or think negligence could be to blame, talk to a solicitor. We work with legal teams across the UK. Our professional transcription service offers verbatim written documentation of recorded inquest hearings.

Our service helps to provide clarity at a time of turmoil. Is a death suspicious or the result of care failings? Could a corporate manslaughter charge follow? A written record of all inquest hearings will give a solicitor a better understanding of what has gone wrong. And it will help you pursue a claim against an individual or organisation in the civil court.

Our work can help you resolve doubts over a death. It helps legal professionals build up a clear picture. With inquest transcription, they can advise you of the best course of action.

It is worth bearing in mind that an inquest is usually held when a death is sudden or unexpected. An inquest is always held if a death could, in part, be the result of an unnatural cause. The purpose of an inquest is to establish the facts. It is a coroner’s job to answer any questions that may result from a death.

There are four key things an inquest must establish:

1. The identity of the deceased.
2. When they died.
3. Where they died.
4. How they died.

These facts can form the basis of future legal proceedings.

Obtaining Recordings of Inquest Hearings

All coroner’s court hearings in England and Wales are recorded. Recordings were made mandatory in 2013. A copy of each recording is kept. You, or your legal representative, can request copies of hearings. A request can be made once an inquest has concluded. In order to obtain a copy, you must be an interested party.

That means, you need to be part of the inquest process or a relative or close friend of the deceased. You can request a copy of the full hearing as well as preliminary or review hearings. Solicitors and insurance companies are automatically considered interested parties. That is why we undertake most of our inquest transcription work for law firms.

In some circumstances, a coroner may offer you an appointment to listen to a recording. For legal reasons, it is best to obtain a copy via a solicitor for inquest transcription. There is one exception to the rule. Hearings held in private, in full or part, for national security reasons cannot be released. Neither can their content be disclosed.

Some things are worth noting in advance. Do you require an inquest transcription? You will have to pay a fee for a hardcopy of the inquest recording. Digital copies are usually provided free of charge.

A coroner is within his or her legal rights to edit recordings. They must only do this to omit specific information. For example, details that could put a person’s safety at risk or breach medical confidentiality. A solicitor will know what to do if this happens to your recording. Confidentiality should not be an issue if the medical information revealed is about the deceased. It could be the basis of your concerns.

At Alphabet, we also transcribe inquest hearings for coroners. It is sometimes necessary for a coroner to obtain a verbatim transcription. He or she will need it to decide what, if any, information needs to be omitted. This usually happens in very sensitive cases or following hearings that are partly held in a closed session.

What Can Inquest Transcription Achieve?

Inquest transcription plays a crucial role. It helps solicitors and other professionals make informed decisions. Transcriptions are important if you need to establish grounds for a second inquest. Inquest transcription is vital if you disagree with the coroner’s findings, or think a death is suspicious. You will also need an inquest transcription if you plan to take civil action against an individual or organisation.

In some circumstances, a full inquest may not take place until police inquiries have concluded. This is to prevent information that could prejudice criminal proceedings from entering the public domain. Legal proceedings are active from the moment a person is arrested. Many people believe that this process does not start until a suspect has been charged with an offence. They are wrong.

An inquest may be delayed. For example, if a person is arrested at the scene of a death or shortly afterwards. In these circumstances, an inquest will be opened and then adjourned. In a case that could result in negligence, including medical negligence, or corporate manslaughter charges, inquest transcription should include preliminary hearings.

We will now look at some circumstances where inquest transcription is important.

Sudden Death in a Care Home

When you were young, you may have marvelled at a 99-year-old’s death being described as ‘sudden’. Today, people can live well into their hundreds. Older people can live with multiple medical conditions caused by age. This is because of advancements in medicine.

While older people can die suddenly, it is sometimes the result of neglect or negligence. It was recently reported that a nurse received a caution for failing to deliver CPR to a care home resident. A medical professional subsequently declared the resident dead. A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing was told the patient was ‘almost cold’ when the nurse arrived on the scene.

All care home workers are trained in CPR – not just registered nurses. They should administer life-saving aid to all residents. That is apart from those who have a ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ (DNR) order. If your relative or loved one dies suddenly, you need to establish a number of facts. Inquest transcription will help you do this.

For example, you need to know staffing levels at the time of death. When was the deceased last checked? Had they suffered a fall? Was resuscitation attempted? An inquest transcription will help you establish this.

While the police may attend a sudden death, it is rare for action to be taken against a care home. You may consider civil action an alternative means of recourse if you have concerns. Talk to a solicitor about inquest transcription.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence claims can be complex and take a long time to settle. Proving negligence in the case of someone who is deceased requires specialist knowledge. Inquest transcription is vital. Cases that require inquest transcription can include:

• Negligence during a birth that led to the death of the baby or mother.
• Unnecessary medical interventions that have led to death (including operations).
• Failing to spot a medical condition. For example, sending someone home without establishing what is actually wrong with them.
• Wrong diagnosis leading to death.
• Incorrect drug or dose administered, which could have caused or contributed to a death.

The scenarios listed above are a few examples. There are many others. In any medical negligence case, you need to establish a timeline. Inquest transcription can help you do this. You also need to ensure medical staff were qualified to carry out any procedures undertaken on the deceased before he or she died.

Many negligence claims are settled out of court. If you can prove your case early on, it could reduce the time it takes for compensation to be paid or an apology to be issued. It’s worth considering that some medical negligence claims can take years to settle. Make sure your solicitor uses inquest transcription. It could help speed up the process.

Cause of Death is in Dispute

Do you have concerns about conclusions drawn by a coroner? Perhaps you think a death recorded as natural is suspicious. Maybe, you think a death determined to be a suicide was an accident. Persuading the authorities to hold a second inquest requires compelling reasons. You will need to be able to explain why the first inquest fell short.

In this instance, inquest transcription can be pivotal. Challenging a coroner’s findings will need legal representation. Most successful applications follow the discovery of new facts. Others may be the result of fraud, an irregularity in proceedings or evidence that has previously been rejected.

If you can present a good enough case, the Solicitor-General will order that a further inquest is held. Inquest transcription can highlight anomalies in the original hearing.

Gross Negligence and Corporate Manslaughter

Gross negligence is a serious matter. It can lead to manslaughter charges in some cases. Recent deaths involving inflatable toys are a prime example. If a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence, they can be held accountable. In cases where a business or public body could be implicated in a person’s death, corporate manslaughter charges can follow. If you are being investigated following a death, ask your solicitor to obtain inquest transcription.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act came into being as a result of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. The Act, passed under a Labour Government, replaced the common law offence of corporate manslaughter. Those found guilty of corporate manslaughter can face custodial sentences. In instances where an organisation, rather than an individual, are found guilty of such an offence, huge fines can be handed down.

Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter were overhauled in 2016. They were altered to ensure a more consistent approach. While the Zeebrugge disaster was clear-cut, gross negligence can involve deaths at work, in police custody, in educational establishments and on public transport, to name a few. Talk to a solicitor if you are concerned you or your business could be accused of this serious offence. This may also be a good time to look into legal transcription services, so that all of your evidence is documented accurately.

Our Inquest Transcription Services

We work with law firms and other professional bodies across the UK. They trust us to deliver accurate inquest transcription. That is because we are experienced in verbatim transcription. We also prepare court-ready transcription, making our services valuable resources and cost-effective.

For more than two decades, Alphabet Transcription Specialists has been preparing exceptional documentation from sound files. We don’t outsource our work and all our highly-skilled transcribers have English as their native language. We understand complex medical and forensic terminology. This is because we have specialists in every field.

Our transcribers have excellent listening skills. They document every detail; important details that some transcription companies can miss. Because we believe in delivering excellence at every level of our inquest transcription work, we also have professional proof readers. That is because we don’t think clients should have to correct our errors.

Whether you are a solicitor, coroner, business owner or someone who is bereaved, you can find out more about our legal transcription services here.

We recommend the bereaved seek legal advice. We can work with your solicitor. Ask your legal representative to contact us for further information.

Confidential Transcription is a Must

Everything we do is confidential. We will never discuss your work with a third party. We destroy all files once a project has been completed. To guarantee the security of sound files and documentation, we use military grade encryption on our website. This is because we give every client their own client folder in our online portal. It makes it easy to exchange files quickly.

For totally confidential, professional inquest transcription, talk to us. Our approach to transcription is explained in detail on our website.

Coping with the loss of a loved one is hard. It can be even harder if the death was unnecessary or the result of a deliberate act. It can seem impossible to see a way forward and to get to the truth. Our inquest transcription service will help your solicitor establish the facts.

Inquest transcription will help you challenge a decision or any wrongdoing.

Legal professionals, coroners, public bodies or businesses can request our inquest transcription online. If you can’t find the answer to a question on our website, we invite you to contact us. Find out more about how we work and check our availability by telephoning +44 (0) 1707 260027.