Injury: Extent

Another responsibility for the forensic pathologist is analyzing and determining the presence and extent of injuries. The extent of injury varies greatly and depends on several factors including mechanisms of wounding, make and model of the weapon used, and characteristics of knife wounds or a bulletís ballistics.

Autopsies may often be conducted on an exclusionary basis alone. If an autopsy is conducted, regardless of suspicion of unnatural death, the forensic pathologist can exclude the possibility of internal injury or other causes that may be missed in external examinations. Even in the absence of unnatural causes of death, the extent and details of natural causes can be documented in detail by the expert forensic pathologist. Forensic pathologists collaborate with other medical experts through The Forensic Panelís peer-review process to understand evidence from the evaluation of the injury, and t o ensure the validity of expert results.