If someone’s death is sudden, unnatural or uncertified, it will be reported to the Coroner. It is the Coroner’s job to find out the cause of the death. Coroners are mostly lawyers, and although the service is provided by the local authority, they are independent judicial officers. If the death of your loved one is reported to the Coroner, your funeral director will help you understand what is happening.
Why is a death reported to the Coroner?
- After accident or injury
- Following an industrial disease
- During a surgical operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic
- If the cause of death is unknown
- If the death was violent or unnatural
- If the death was sudden or unexplained
- If the doctor issuing the Medical Certificate did not see the person within fourteen days of their death or at death
Who can report a death to the Coroner?
Anybody, although it is usually the police, a doctor, or the Registrar of births and deaths.
What does the Coroner do?
The Coroner decides if they need to investigate the death. They may ask for a post-mortem examination. If the death was due to natural causes, the Coroner will usually send the documentation to the Registrar in a few days and you can register the death and arrange the funeral. You need the Coroner’s permission for a cremation after a post-mortem.
If the death was not due to natural causes, the Coroner will hold an inquest to find out the cause. They may adjourn the inquest to allow time to investigate. You cannot register the death until after the inquest, however the Coroner will usually release the deceased for the funeral when they adjourn the inquest.
The Coroners’ Officers work with the Coroner to investigate sudden, violent, suspicious or unnatural deaths. They will gather evidence and interviews, and will keep you informed.
Our funeral directors are here to help you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you’re unsure about what to do next, pick up the phone to your local funeral director and we’ll be there for you with our years of experience and understanding.