To what extent do wounds play a role in understanding the facts and circumstances surrounding wrongful death?facts

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wrongful death suits arise from many situations. You are asking specifically about wounds. Yes, wounds could be valuable evidence, depending of course on how the person died. Wrongful death suits are Tort actions. A tort is a civil wrong propagated against a person. In other words, torts are not criminal matters, but some turn into criminal matters if intent is shown. For example, you are admitted to the hospital for a routine "minor" surgery. Something happens in the perioperative period and you die. A couple of things are possible... maybe you had an unforeseen allergic reaction to the anesthesia, this is not a tort because no one did anything wrong. Let's say you had that same surgery but this time the surgeon or operating room nurse inadvertently left an instrument inside you. This of course is an accident, it was not intentional, but it is a tort because you are now injured and then you died. A wrongful death suit could be filed by your next of kin, and they would win !  But... the problem is you are still dead !

kc4u | Student

Examination of wounds is of extreme importance as a lead to ascertain unnatural/wrongful death. In case a wrongful death is suspected as alleged by the next of kin of the deceased, the investigating officer shall try to detect if there is any wound on the body. If one or more wound(s) is/are found, it is necessary to assess its character to know if it is self-inflicted or due to some accident or homicidal. What sort of instrument/weapon may have been used. It is also necessary to know the degree/intensity of the injury and its particular location.

By gathering and processing al such data, some preliminary assumtions can be made with regard to the circumstances under which the death may have occurred. If no wound of any kind is detected, the question of wrongful death becomes a matter of more sophisticated investigations.