The specifics of when to notify the Coroner are addressed in the Illinois State Statutes (55 ILCS 5/3-3020). Practically speaking, depending on the circumstances and/or many variables including location of a death, the Coroner's Office will be notified of any reportable death and will conduct an investigation to determine cause and manner of death. The following list serves as a guideline as to REPORTABLE deaths. If in doubt about whether to report any death, it is best to notify the Coroner's Office so that a timely and proper investigation can be conducted. To do this, 911 should be called and the Coroner's Office will respond.
The following list serves as a guideline as to REPORTABLE DEATHS. If in doubt about any death, call the Coroner.
- Any death suspected of being a sudden or violent death, whether suicide or homicide
- Any death where the circumstances are suspicious, obscure, mysterious, or otherwise unexplained
- Any accidental deaths: Motor vehicle accidents; Anesthetic; Traumatic or other forms of mechanical violence; Burns; Cutting or stabbing; Drowning (actual or suspected); Electric shock; Explosion; Exposure; Firearms; Falls or fractures; Carbon monoxide poisoning; Hanging; Heat exhaustion; Strangulation; Suffocation; Poisoning
- Any death arising out of employment
- Any maternal or fetal death arising out of criminal or self-induced abortion
- Any death due to a sex crime or crime against nature
- Any death due to suspicious or unusual circumstances or unknown circumstances (body found)
- Any death as a result of domestic violence
- Any death where addiction to alcohol or drug use may have been a contributing factor
- Any death where the decedent is not attended by a physician or the physician cannot be found
- Any death of a "dead on arrival" or death within 24 hours of admission to a Health Care Facility
- Any death in state institutions (penal or mental health), wards of the state in private care facilities or programs
- Any death where a cremation of the remains is to take place
55 ILCS 5/3-3020 Penalty for not Reporting; Violation: Every law enforcement official, funeral director, ambulance attendant, hospital director or administrator or person having custody of the body of a deceased person, where the death is one subject to investigation under section 3-3013 (55 ISCS 5/3-3013), and any physician in attendance upon such a decedent at the time of his death, shall notify the coroner promptly. Any such person failing to so notify the coroner promptly shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, unless such person has reasonable cause to believe that the coroner had already been notified.