A post mortem examination will always be undertaken following any fatal injury in order to determine the exact cause of death.
A death should be reported to the Coroner if it is of unknown cause, believed to be violent or unnatural or was sudden and unexplained. This by definition would cover a fatal accident. It should also be reported to the Coroner if death occurred during an operation or before the person came out of anaesthetic or where the medical certificate suggests that the death may have been caused by an industrial disease or industrial poisoning.
The results of post mortem examinations are particularly important where it is suspected that death arises from an industrial disease. Where the pathologist’s report suggests that death did not arise as a direct consequence of an industrial disease it may still indicate that the condition played some part in the development of the condition which ultimately caused death.
The post mortem report may not always be conclusive and accordingly further tests may have to be required in order to establish whether there was a link between the development of an industrial disease and death. A funeral can only take place once the post mortem examinations have been completed and the Coroner has confirmed that no further enquiries are necessary.
The Coroner must also decide once post mortem has been undertaken whether an Inquest will be necessary. A Coroner must hold an Inquest if the cause of death is still unknown or if the person:
- Possibly died a violent or unnatural death;
- Died in prison or in police custody.
It is not possible to register the death until the Inquest has been completed although the Coroner can provide an interim Death Certificate in the meantime. This will allow the family to apply for Probate and to gain access to funds in accordance with the deceased’s Will or the rules of Intestacy.
At Sintons our personal injury specialists have a wealth of experience in pursuing fatal injury compensation claims and interpreting post mortem reports. Accordingly we will be able to advise you whether there are any prospects of pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation or what further steps must be taken in light of the post mortem report.
All personal injury claims are pursued on a No Win No Fee basis so you can rest assured that there is no financial risk.
To begin a personal injury compensation claim or obtain further advice with no obligation contact Sintons 24/7.