The role of a Forensic Medical Examiner (FME) is to apply their expert knowledge to cases by rigorously reading through the existing evidence noted by The Police. Following this initial stage they then conduct their own analysis of the victim’s injuries, taking into account when the injury took place and the severity of that injury. It is their job to confirm the validity of the existing evidence or to suggest their own.
Forensic Medical Examiners all have a background in medicine, and likely will have been NHS or private doctors at some point in their career. Therefore, they have an exceptional knowledge of medicine and are well equipped to handle cases and evidence based on determining what has happened to a victim and when. Forensic Medical Examiners are adept at determining the cause of injuries and the force used in the incident. So for example; they are able to determine the difference between a victim who has been kicked or punched, with the further ability to ascertain the force used in the assault. This is essential in uncovering not only the actus reus of the crime, but the mens rea too.
A Forensic Medical Examiner Expert Witness uses their expertise to determine the validity of police reports, findings and evidence. Furthermore, their role is also to conduct their own research and studies of both the cases and the victims within them, as to arrive at a conclusion of their own. This is then written up comprehensively in the form of a case report. Though thorough and expert, these reports are written with the aim that they may be understood and considered in a court at a basic level of comprehension, therefore the evidence is clear and well presented.
According to Dr Kieran Sharrock, former GP and current FME, the role of a Forensic Medical Examiner is becoming increasingly focused. Whereas nurse practitioners may be able to deal with slightly more elementary medical issues such as assessing whether a victim has broken a bone, an expert FME will be used to determine how and when the injury was sustained. Forensic Medical Examiners can more often than not find themselves working in difficult and emotive cases, such as assessing victims of domestic abuse, sexual assaults and batteries. That said, Dr Sanjeev Gaya has commented in an article that the work done by a Forensic Medical Examiner is difficult, but absorbing and fulfilling, as these experts play a crucial role in the pursuit of justice and aiding of victims.
Forensic Medical Examiners are usually called upon by solicitors in difficult and sensitive circumstances. All of our FME experts are however, accustomed to working with cases of this nature and helping the people involved in a personable and professional manner. They are the authority on the area of examining victim’s injuries and can therefore overturn the previously held opinion on how and when the victim was attacked and with how much force. A Forensic Medical Examiner will document their findings in concluding reports. From there, the solicitor can use these reports to strengthen their case and use it as evidence in court, alongside police reports and witness statements. This adds a great deal of weight, as well as respected opinion, to a court case as the role of the forensic medical examiner is well established and esteemed.
It is crucial to find the right Forensic Medical Examiner for your case. This can, however, incur a lengthy search as well as the time-consuming process of organising the particulars with the expert themself. At Foresight we alleviate this problem by connecting you with one of our FME experts from our extensive and approved network. This saves our clients a great deal of time, as well as streamlining the process, making it less time consuming and financially strenuous.