Injury Assessment, Documentation, and Interpretation

  • Jason J. Payne-James
  • Jason J. Payne-James
  • Judith Hinchliffe


Assessing, documenting, and interpreting injuries or scars which have been ­sustained as a result of trauma or violence is one of the key roles of any forensic physician or forensic pathologist. Crimes of violence – for example inter-personal, part of armed conflict, or accident, or terrorism, occur globally. Although crime in general is decreasing in the UK, the incidence of serious violent crime is stable and some (such as sexual assault) is increasing in incidence [1]. Nonjudicial assault (such as torture) has also become more widely recognized and documented [2]. This chapter addresses the issues of physical assault and the assessment and documentation of wounds, scars, or injury. It has been suggested that the definition of physical injury in the forensic medical context should be “damage to any part of the body due to the deliberate or accidental application of mechanical or other traumatic agent” [3]. The latter term would include agents such as heat or cold.


Dental Arch Bite Mark Entrance Wound Blunt Force Contact Wound 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason J. Payne-James
    • 1
  • Jason J. Payne-James
    • 2
  • Judith Hinchliffe
    • 3
  1. 1.Cameron Forensic Medical SciencesBarts and the London School of Medicine & DentistryLondonUK
  2. 2.Forensic Healthcare Services LtdLeigh-on-SeaUK
  3. 3.Independent forensic odontologistWellingtonNew Zealand

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