Forensic physicians are medical doctors who specialise in the examination of living individuals, victims, or suspects, usually in the context of criminal investigations or legal proceedings. These physicians are trained to apply their medical expertise to gather and interpret medical evidence related to criminal cases, accidents, or other incidents causing injury. They are also often responsible for evaluating the health of suspects in custody, and later investigating the possible causes of deteriorating health or death, and any suspected negligence in the care of, individuals in custody.
Forensic physicians may be general practitioners, general surgeons or specialists in acute or general medicine, who have undergone further specialist training to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to become forensic physicians. They often work closely with police services and pathologists.
Why might you need to instruct a Forensic physician expert witness?
Forensic physician expert witnesses are often instructed for an expert opinion in criminal cases involving injury. Typical cases where a forensic physician may be instructed are assault, wounding, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and attempted murder. This includes the evaluation of bruising, in terms of causation, degree of force and ageing. Forensic physicians are frequently asked to assess the age of a blunt-force injury, which may include abrasions, lacerations, contusions, or fractures. Forensic physicians can also provide expert opinions on sharp force injuries, including fatal and non-fatal knife stab and slash wounds, and strangulation injuries. Forensic physicians commonly assist the court by evaluating alleged defence-type injuries.
Other incidences where a forensic physician expert may be instructed include:
- Injury interpretation in road traffic collisions
- Evaluation of injuries in cases of suspected self-inflicted injuries, including ligature strangulation.
- Evaluation of bite-mark injuries.
- Evaluation of physical evidence of torture for the Asylum Courts (scar interpretation reports)
- Evaluation of non-accidental injury, bruising and other injuries in children
- Drink and drug driving cases in which the driver has failed to provide the required specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis / evaluation of genuine medical excuse for failing to provide. Including the evaluation of needle phobia.
- Sexual offence case work in adult cases of rape and sexual assault
- Sexual offence case work in child cases of rape and sexual assault.
- Evaluation of injuries sustained by detainees and police officers during arrest/evaluation of use of reasonable force by arresting officers.
- Medical negligence – clinical negligence relating to Forensic Medical Examiners and Forensic Nurses working in the police custody environment.
- Deaths in custody investigations
Why use Expert Court Reports?
A good Forensic physician expert witness should come with years of clinical experience as well as specific competencies to act as an expert witness. Look for someone who has established expert witness experience. Our Forensic physician expert, Dr Ranu has many years of clinical practice and established experience of acting as an expert witness.