The coroner and staff recognize the tragedy surrounding an untimely death and perform investigations, in part, to assist the grieving family. The coroner works in cooperation with the law enforcement community, but conducts a separate and unbiased investigation.
A complete forensic investigation provides for the expeditious settling of insurance claims and estates, as well as the implementation of civil and criminal actions.
Questions, which seem irrelevant in the initial hours after death, can become significant in the following months. The surviving family and general public can have the peace of mind that a complete investigation was done.
Although criminal death investigations constitute a small portion of deaths investigated by the coroner, these deaths are studied in great detail because of the issues and legal consequences involved. In this way, the criminal justice system is offered the best support.
The public health dimension of the coroner’s function is designed to isolate and identify causes of sudden unexpected death. When an infectious agent or poison is implicated in a death, the family and persons recently in physical contact with the deceased are notified in order that they might receive any needed medical treatment.