Coroner/Medical Examiner Laws, by State

A medicolegal investigation is conducted by a coroner’s or medical examiner’s office to determine the circumstances under which someone died. Medicolegal investigations combine a scientific inquiry into a death under a coroner’s or medical examiner’s legal jurisdiction.

At the request of the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC’s Public Health Law Program assessed coroner and medical examiner laws across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state sets its own standards for what kinds of deaths require investigation and its own professional and continuing education requirements for individuals carrying out these investigations. These different standards can have a broad-reaching public health impact as variations in the collection and reporting of cause-of-death data could hinder public health officials’ ability to conduct accurate mortality surveillance.

The map below leads to profiles of each state’s coroner and/or medical examiner death investigation laws. Published January 15, 2015.

The site also has additional information about the following:

Page last reviewed: October 26, 2016