We often act for clients where a family member has died and they need help at an inquest. It is possible for us to recover the fees where liability is disputed by a potential Defendant. A recent judgement has upheld the right to recover legal costs in this situation.
The amount of the fees were very large in this case and will be decided by the court but the principle remains the same; if a Defendant does not admit any fault for the death, you are entitled to have legal representation at the inquest and be paid most or all of your costs if you succeed with a negligence claim.
What if the Defendant admits liability?
We have acted for clients where this has happened shortly before an inquest. It does mean that if you still need legal support, the court will not usually allow recovery of your costs because we no longer need to be there to assess the merits of a compensation claim. However, for many clients, they want answers and an inquest may be the only chance to question witnesses. This is why clients still ask us to attend inquests even after a personal injury or clinical negligence case settles. It can also be very daunting and distressing for families so it can help for someone independent to liaise with the Defendant’s solicitor, who will often have a team of lawyers and other experts helping them.
If you need advice about an inquest and your rights please get in touch with us.