Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why You Need a Toxicology Expert Witness

In a nutshell, death investigation uses forensic toxicology to identify the cause of death. In this discipline, toxicologists usually study the concentration of substances ingested by a person and their effect to the body. Blood and hair samples are frequently used to detect the chemicals present in the system. In fact, a 10 ml blood sample is enough to verify the presence of a toxic substance. When it comes to hair samples, toxicologists would refer to the hair follicle as it is useful in determining medium to long-term substance abuse.

A deceased person's gastric contents may also show undigested substances that have been ingested before death. It is also possible to come up with a rough estimation on the time of death depending on the state of digestion of stomach contents.

A toxicology expert witness strengthens evidences when criminal cases are brought to court. They provide a detailed analysis of the substances found during the autopsy and even on the samples collected by the investigators. The outcome of the case largely depends on how accurate the interpretations are. Plaintiffs or defendants will have to seek the services of a toxicology expert witness to have reliable documentation needed for proper litigation. They may even ask the toxicologist to provide testimony before the court.

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