The Coroner's Office investigates all sudden, violent, unattended or unusual deaths that occur within the County. The primary duty of the Coroner's Office is to determine the cause and manner of death. In addition, many other duties are required, and understanding these varied functions is an ongoing task, as technology and forensic techniques continue to change and improve. An autopsy may be required depending upon the circumstances of the death. The Coroner's Office initiates death certificates; notifies family members of deaths; distributes accurate and timely information to family members, police agencies, health care professionals, insurance companies, and testifies in civil and criminal proceedings.