forensic pathologist/medical expert witness
In the case of death, forensic pathologist is a good description. In the case of accidents; in the case of injuries, etc. a medical expert witness is proper.
The forensic pathologist is a subspecialist in pathology whose area of special competence is the examination of persons who die suddenly, unexpectedly or violently. The forensic pathologist is an expert in determining cause and manner of death.
The forensic pathologist is specially trained: to perform autopsies to determine the presence or absence of disease, injury or poisoning; to evaluate historical and law-enforcement investigative information relating to manner of death; to collect medical evidence, such as trace evidence and secretions, to document sexual assault; and to reconstruct how a person received injuries.
Koroner (ang. coroner) – w krajach anglosaskich urzędnik prowadzący śledztwo w sprawie nagłego, niespodziewanego lub przypadkowego zgonu, który nastąpił w sposób nienaturalny, w podejrzanych lub brutalnych okolicznościach. W przybliżeniu oznacza lekarza medycyny sądowej, a także biegłego sądowego, który zajmuje się wyjaśnieniem okoliczności i przyczyn śmierci oraz ustaleniem czasu śmierci osób, co do których zaistniało podejrzenie, że zmarły śmiercią nienaturalną. Synonimem koronera w języku amerykańskim jest medical examiner (M.E.), aczkolwiek koroner nie musi być z wykształcenia dyplomowanym lekarzem patologiem
A medical examiner is an official trained in pathology that investigates deaths that occur under unusual or suspicious circumstances, to perform post-mortem examinations, and in some jurisdictions to initiate inquests.
In the US, there are two death investigation systems, the coroner system based on English law, and the medical examiner system, which evolved from the coroner system during the latter half of the 19th century. The type of system varies from municipality to municipality and from state to state, with over 2,000 separate jurisdictions for investigating unnatural deaths. In 2002, 22 states had a medical examiner system, 11 states had a coroner system, and 18 states had a mixed system. Since the 1940s, the medical examiner system has gradually replaced the coroner system, and serves about 48% of the US population.
The coroner is not necessarily a medical doctor, but a lawyer, or even a layperson. In the 19th century, the public became dissatisfied with lay coroners and demanded that the coroner be replaced by a physician. In 1918, New York City introduced the office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and appointed physicians experienced in the field of pathology. In 1959, the medical subspecialty of forensic pathology was formally certified.
The types of death reportable to the system are determined by federal, state or local laws. Commonly, these include violent, suspicious, sudden, and unexpected deaths, death when no physician or practitioner treated recently, inmates in public institutions, in custody of law enforcement, during or immediately following therapeutic or diagnostic procedures, or deaths due to neglect
Medical expert witnesses are physicians, nurses, surgeons or other licensed practitioners whose skills and experience qualify them to testify on a particular medical area. In personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits, attorneys often utilize medical expert witnesses during both the discovery and trial stages.