The Coroner directs independent medical and legal investigations of death cases that come under the jurisdiction of the office. The Coroner's jurisdiction is determined by where a death actually occurs, not where a particular incident/accident happened that might have caused the death.

The State of Illinois requires that the Coroner investigate a death if it is:

  1. Tramatic or violent death suspected of being accidental, suicidal, or homicidal regardless of the duration of survival following the underlying trauma:
    • Burns
    • Crushing injury
    • Drowning
    • Electrocution
    • Falls
    • Gunshot wounds
    • Poisonings
    • Radiation injury
    • Stabbing wounds
    • Starvation
    • Strangulation
    • Suffocation
    • Vehicular accidents
    • Weather related
  2. Suspicious, unusual, or unnatural causes
  3. Victim was incarcerated in prison or jail or in police custody regardless of apparent cause
  4. Deaths occurring while under the influence of anesthesia and those occurring in the post-anesthetic period.
  5. All deaths occurring within 24 hours of admission to a hospital, including all emergency room deaths and stillbirths.
  6. All deaths that occur during or as a result of diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedures.
  7. All deaths in which an injury or disease acquired during employment is suspected to have caused or contributed to death.
  8. Sudden, Unexplained or Unexpected Death:
    • Found dead under non-suspicious circumstances but there is no reasonable medical history or symptoms to explain the cause of death and the attending physician has no adequate or reasonable explanation of the cause of death.
    • Never attended by a physician; or attended by a practitioner who is legally unable to complete an Illinois Death Certificate (e.g., a Christian Science Practitioner or a physician from another state or territory.)
    • A maternal or fetal death due to abortion or any death due to a sex crime or a crime against nature.
    • A death involving toxic amounts of illegal drugs or alcohol.
    • A death where the decedent was not attended by a licensed physician with 30 days of date and time of death and not attended by a physician at the time and place of death.
    • Death in which coma may be due to drug overdose or a traumatic head injury; deaths occurring after unexplained syncope or coma will be suspicious in nature. If coma is due to natural disease, unrelated to trauma or poisoning, etc, the Coroner may have no jurisdiction in the case.
  9. All deaths occurring in a Nursing Home/Extended Care Facility shall be reportable to the Coroner's Office.