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Accident or Crime? About the meaning of face injuries inflicted by blunt force

Vera Sterzik, David Duckwitz & Michael Bohnert

abstract Injuries caused by blunt force are seen frequently in daily forensic casework. Sometimes, especially when there is less information about the surrounding circumstances, it might become difficult to figure out the cause and background of injuries: accident, criminal violence or self-infliction? In the study presented, face injuries caused by blunt force in 694 cases were analysed comparing the injury patterns in accidents to those in crimes. It turned out injuries of the ear and retro auricular region clearly indicate a crime. Also, soft tissue injuries of nose, upper jaw, and lower jaw point towards a criminal violence whereas tooth injuries occur with a similar frequency in both crimes and accidents.
   
keywords Blunt force - facial injuries - head injuries - fatalities - ear injury - retro auricular injury - accident - criminal violence
   
citation Sterzik V, Duckwitz D, Bohnert M. Accident or Crime? About the meaning of face injuries inflicted by blunt force. Forensic Sciences Research 2016;.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 24-8-2016
journal title Forensic Sciences Research
DOI 10.1080/20961790.2016.1229378