It is estimated that 70 to 90% of people are severely traumatized at some point in their lives, many of who become psychologically injured as a result. Some of these injuries can be attributable to another person’s actions, whether intentional, reckless, or through negligence. Much like physical injuries, psychological injuries can severely impair a person’s ability to maintain employment and generally live a productive life. Additionally, psychological injuries are often associated with considerable emotional distress for the person.
As a result of the functional impairment and emotional distress caused by a psychological injury, some people seek to be compensated by the other person or entity whose actions they allege caused the injury. In the course of litigation, both the plaintiff and the defense often request and independent medical examination to evaluate the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s psychological injury and subsequent functional impairment.
The evaluation thoroughly examines the person’s personal history and level of functioning before the injury, addresses how the injury has affected various areas of functioning, and estimates a prognosis for future functioning. The evaluation also assesses whether the personal injury directly caused or exacerbated the claimed symptoms, or whether the symptoms can be better attributed to other factors. This is done though obtaining a detailed personal history, administering several validated psychological instruments to objectively determine the nature of the symptoms, and reviewing relevant collateral information.
Although Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the most commonly alleged mental health diagnoses subsequent to an injury, depression and anxiety that are independent of PTSD can also occur. The psychological evaluation can assess for such depression and anxiety, and help determine whether they are truly distinct from PTSD.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to serve as legal information or advice. It is not a guarantee of how a specific evaluation will or should be conducted, as each evaluation is unique and requires an individual approach.
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