Autopsy For Wrongful Death Cases? What You Need To Know

Posted on: 10 September 2018


An autopsy is a procedure done by a licensed medical examiner after death. The procedure requires the thorough examination of the person's body both inside and out. The point of an autopsy is to confirm or determine how the person died. Many times, an autopsy is done after a wrongful death to help prove the case. Here is some information about how autopsies and how they are involved in wrongful death cases:

The Importance of an Autopsy

You do not necessarily have to have an autopsy completed to determine whether or not you have a case for wrongful death. However, the procedure is very useful because it confirms how the person died. For instance, if a person was hurt in a slip-and-fall accident but did not pass away until months later, the autopsy would confirm whether or not the slip and fall was the cause or if it was something else which developed during the time period after the accident.

An autopsy also provides concrete evidence about the person's death over another form of death confirmation, such as a death certificate. While a death certificate may say a person passed away from a heart attack, an autopsy will provide insight as to how the death occurred and how a heart attack actually happened.

If the death is uncertain, an autopsy will nail down a cause. For instance, if a person died from a heart attack and the autopsy shows a physician did not diagnose a heart condition, the family could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor.

After an Autopsy

Once you know the primary cause of the death of your loved one, you will likely have questions as to whether or not anyone's negligence played a role. If you believe that negligence or failure to diagnose a loved one properly, you may have a case.

You will need to file a wrongful death lawsuit for your family member. Those who file are close relatives of the deceased, such as a spouse, a child, or a parent. Others can file the lawsuit if they relied on the deceased for financial support. A wrongful death case will seek money for medical costs, any loss of future potential income, and pain and suffering. Talk to a wrongful death lawyer for more information on how to make a case.

An autopsy is a very difficult procedure, and it can be difficult to make the decision to move forward during a time of grief. Many people opt not to have an autopsy performed for religious purposes.

However, if you know you or another loved one will pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, it is best to have the procedure done so you have solid evidence for your case.