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Reportable deaths

The following deaths must be reported to the coroner for investigation.

Violent, unnatural or unexpected deaths

These include homicide, suicide, and drug, alcohol and poison-related deaths.

Accidents or injury-related deaths

When someone dies from an accident or injury, even if there is a prolonged interval between the incident and death. This includes:

  • road fatalities
  • public transport fatalities
  • accidental falls
  • workplace deaths
  • electrocutions
  • drownings
  • animal attacks.

The person’s identity is not known

There may be some cases where a person’s identity is unknown. These deaths must be reported to the coroner for investigation.

The cause of death is not known

When a medical practitioner cannot form an opinion about the probable cause of death and therefore cannot sign a death certificate.

Healthcare-related deaths

When someone dies unexpectedly during or after a medical procedure, or other unexpected or accidental deaths in a healthcare facility.

Deaths where a death notice was not signed and not likely to be signed

A doctor who was responsible for a person’s medical care immediately before death, or who examines the body of the deceased person after death, must, within 48 hours after the death, notify Births, Deaths and Marriages of the death and of the cause of the death.

There may be some cases where this is not possible or has not occurred. These deaths must be reported to the coroner for investigation.

Deaths in care or custody

The death of a person that was:

  • placed in custody or care (as defined in the Coroners Act 2008)
  • an inpatient in a mental health facility (as per the Mental Health Act 1986)
  • was under the control, care or custody of police or corrections officers
  • subject to a non-custodial supervision order (under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997).

The death must be connected with Victoria

The coroner must be notified of the above, if:

  • the body is in Victoria
  • the death occurred in Victoria
  • the cause of the death occurred in Victoria
  • the person ordinarily resided in Victoria at the time of death.

Are you obligated to report a death? Do you believe a death was not reported to the court but should have been? Find out how to notify us.

Last updated on 11 Apr 2019