Coroner’s Verdict Law and Legal Definition

Coroner’s verdict refers to a verdict issued by a coroner at the conclusion of an inquest into sudden deaths. For example, a verdict of accidental death or unlawful killing. Usually the cause of death as determined by a coroner shall be the legally accepted manner and mode in which the death occurred.

In U.S, coroners are usually county-level elected officers, who do not need any medical qualification. As finders of fact, they retain quasi-judicial powers such as the power of subpoena. In some states they also have the power to impanel juries of inquest.

The following is an example of a State Statute (Ohio) on Coroner’s verdict:

The Ohio Revised Code sets forth that a cause of death as determined by a coroner shall be the legally accepted manner and mode in which the death occurred. ORC Ann. 313.19 mandates that the court hold a hearing on the challenge to the coroner's findings prior to directing such a change.Thus, the coroner's factual determinations shall be accepted unless, following a hearing, the common pleas court directs the coroner to change such determination.

ORC Ann. 313.19. Coroner's verdict the legally accepted cause of death

The cause of death and the manner and mode in which the death occurred, as delivered by the coroner and incorporated in the coroner's verdict and in the death certificate filed with the division of vital statistics, shall be the legally accepted manner and mode in which such death occurred, and the legally accepted cause of death, unless the court of common pleas of the county in which the death occurred, after a hearing, directs the coroner to change his decision as to such cause and manner and mode of death.