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Kunz, S. N. and Adamec, J. (2016): Biomechanik des Stampftritts gegen den behelmten Schädel. In: Rechtsmedizin, Vol. 26, No. 5: pp. 411-417

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The forensic biomechanical assessment of kicking and/or stomping to the head while the victim is lying on the floor is an essential and frequent medicolegal task after physical altercations. In addition to the immediate and subsequent injuries actually suffered by the victim, the question of the potential dangerousness of the particular kind of physical violence used is essential for a correct legal assessment of the case. Based on a case example, the biomechanical aspects of stomping against a helmeted head and the injury potential of this kind of physical violence were analyzed in this study. In this study five brand new KED bicycle helmets were examined in terms of their protection and fracture behavior and the potential injury risk of stomping was assessed. The helmets were placed on an aluminium core of a dummy head, which had been covered by a surrogate scalp and face made of rubber corresponding to the anatomical shape of a head and face. The head-helm model was positioned on a multicomponent force measurement plate. The execution of stomping was recorded with a digital high-speed camera. This series of experiments showed that the degree of damage to the helmet did not correlate well with the intensity of the stomping and thus only very limited conclusions can be drawn based on this parameter. In the case report in question (stomping on the helmeted head of person lying on the floor with additional head protection due to a defensive position and placing the head on the forearm lying on the ground) no significant risks of developing serious injuries could be proven, even with intensive and multiple stomps.

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