The Lancashire Coroners operate within a legal framework and have a duty to investigate all sudden, unexpected, violent or unnatural deaths and deaths that occur in legal custody..
The Coroner will seek to establish the medical cause of death and the Coroner may order a post mortem examination to discover the cause of death. If the cause remains in doubt after a post mortem the Coroner may hold an inquest.
A small number of deaths have to be reported to the coroner before they can be registered and before the document allowing the funeral to go ahead can be issued. The following are the deaths that, if not already reported to the coroner by someone else, will be reported by the registrar:
Once a death has been reported to the coroner, the registrar cannot go ahead with the registration until the coroner has decided whether any further investigation into the death is necessary. In the vast majority of cases no further investigation is necessary and the registration can be completed straightaway.
If the Coroner’s investigation or a post mortem reveal that the death was due to natural causes and that an inquest is not needed, the Coroner will release the body and you can register the death. The funeral can then take place. If an inquest is to be held a death cannot be registered until it has been completed, but the Coroner will usually issue a certificate that will allow the funeral to take place.
If a death has been referred to the Coroner a Registrar cannot register the death and issue a Death Certificate until the body is released by the Coroner.
A post mortem is a medical examination carried out by a pathologist at the Coroner’s request. The purpose is to establish the cause of death. The consent of the next of kin is not required for a coroner’s post mortem. Copies of a post mortem report will normally be available to the next-of-kin and to certain other relatives. A fee may be payable.
An inquest is an inquiry into:
An inquest is not a trial and it is not the Coroner’s job to deal with questions of civil or criminal liability. Possible verdicts include: natural causes, accident, suicide, unlawful or lawful killing, industrial disease, and open verdicts where there is insufficient evidence for any other verdict.
Medical records remain confidential after death. However, Coroners are entitled to request medical information that is relevant and necessary to their enquiries.
If you wish to take the body abroad, you must give written notice to the Coroner. The Coroner will tell you within four days whether further enquiries are needed.
If you wish to bring the body back to England or Wales, the Coroner may need to be involved. In certain circumstances, an inquest may be necessary. You can ask for advice from your local Coroner's Office.
Coroners also deal with finds that may be classed as treasure.
Phone: 01254 743116
Phone: 01282 804508
Phone: 01257 246207
Phone: 01524 596675
Phone: 01772 524740
Dr James R.H Adeley
Coroner's Court - Faraday Court
Phone: 01772 703700
Mr Richard Graeme Taylor
Southerns, 6a, Hargreaves Street
Phone: 01282 438446