A psychologist medico-legal report should be obtained for claims for mental injuries. Accidents and injuries can be traumatic. Many such events are accompanied by stress or shock and this can leave a mental scar on the people it impacts.
When making a claim for compensation, proof of how the accident and injury affected the claimant psychologically can be vitally important.
In order to access a medico-legal report, it’s crucial to use the services of someone in the appropriate field, such as medico-legal psychiatry. An impartial psychologist medico-legal report is key to claims involving psychological harm. This article aims to explain how you can arrange one quickly and easily for claimants.
If you’d like more help, please contact us.
Select A Section
- What Is A Psychologist Medico-Legal Report?
- Why Do You Require A Psychologist Medico-Legal Report?
- What Should A Medical Report Cover?
- How To Find An Expert Medico-Legal Psychologist
- Instructing A Medico-Legal Expert
- Get Help Obtaining A Psychologist Medico-Legal Report
A psychologist medico-legal report is produced by a medical professional who has been selected to give an unbiased opinion based on their expertise in that field. Medical reports are pieces of evidence that give an assessment of the claimant’s injuries sustained in an accident (such as a car accident) or because of an event (such as a data breach).
For someone making a claim for compensation against another party for causing their injuries, these reports are essential. A medico-legal psychologist can deliver an informed opinion as to the severity of the harm endured as well as whether the accident potentially caused the injury. These professionals can be experts in their field and, because they’re also impartial, the findings in their report represents solid evidence.
A medico-legal expert could be a GP (for general injuries) or a specialist such as an obstetrician (for birth injuries). A psychologist medico-legal expert would, of course, be able to recognise the mental damage caused by an accident or event.
Firstly, the findings of a medical assessment such as that contained in a psychologist medico-legal report can be vital for ensuring the client receives the correct care and treatment in the future.
As well as assessing the full extent of injury, the specialist in that field is uniquely positioned to deliver an opinion on prognosis and the need for any future medical intervention.
In cases of trauma and psychological harm, there could be a recommendation for ongoing therapy or counselling. These future costs are something the defendant could be liable for.
In addition, the medico-legal consultant could find that some psychological injuries were pre-existing but worsened by the incident. Perhaps others were created by it. So long as the report includes the professional’s opinion that the injuries are consistent with the effects of the incident, the report can be used to value the claimant’s injuries.
A psychologist medico-legal report should cover the following:
- The circumstances of the accident. Though medico-legal experts are unable to give their opinion on whether an accident was due to the defendant’s breach of duty of care, they can relay the claimant’s (and sometimes the defendant’s) view of events. This is in order to assess whether the injuries could have been caused by the event.
- Details of the nature of the injuries and impact on the claimant.
- Any details of treatment given so far.
- Confirmation that medical intervention has worked (or not).
- The prognosis for recovery.
- Details about the risk of future or permanent health issues.
- Recommendations for future treatment (if any).
The opinion that the psychologist medico-legal expert gives needs to be unbiased. It’s important to remember that the report is addressed to the courts and owes an overriding duty to be impartial and accurate to them, not the claimant or defendant.
Most experts understand that a psychologist medico-legal report needs to adhere to this duty. Both the lawyer and the claimant must be willing to accept its findings.
What’s more, medico-legal experts should have no connection or association with the claimant. For example, the claimant’s therapist should not carry out the assessment even if they have medico-legal training and credentials. In order for the psychologist medico-legal report to retain credibility, there should be no conflict of interest.
Who is the best person to approach for a psychologist medico-legal report? Obviously, a professional in that field should create it, but finding a properly qualified expert may not be straightforward.
Independent and impartial psychological assessments are not something every psychiatrist can give on a claimant’s behalf. Furthermore, how can you be sure that an expert is as qualified and trained as they need to be?
Internet searches can generate results for medico-legal experts, but there are some issues to watch for. It’s beneficial to check:
- That the page isn’t outdated. For example, the experts listed may no longer be providing medico-legal services.
- Whether they accept requests from external law firms directly or they only work through a medico-legal agency. How would you instruct them if they were independent?
- Fees: what are they and can they be deferred until the claim is complete.
The service we offer aims to alleviate extra work surrounding sourcing and receiving a medico-legal report. It can provide you with easy access to the services of certified medico-legal experts from various medical fields. We are skilled at handling enquiries in a prompt and professional manner.
There is a general process that can be followed to arrange for a psychologist medico-legal report:
- Source an expert in that field directly or through a medical agency.
- Send an instruction letter to the expert explaining the circumstances of the event/accident and injuries. Ask them to generate a report for the purposes of a compensation claim. In addition, ask them to focus on the severity of the injuries and future prognosis.
- The claimant’s medical records should also be made available to the expert. (An agency can do this on behalf of the solicitor.)
- The agency would then arrange the appointment for the assessment. This can be at a location that is convenient to a claimant.
- The claimant should then attend the appointment.
- Within a month, the expert can provide the psychologist medico-legal report.
The report is made available to all parties involved in the claim. It can be used by the solicitor to prove the accident caused (or worsened) the psychological injuries sustained. It can also be used when valuing potential compensation amounts.
We offer a connection to medical professionals who can offer medico-legal report services like this. Services include the writing of a psychologist medico-legal report (or a report in any other field of expertise) to attending court in person to deliver their opinion.
As a medico-legal agency, we can:
- Defer payment associated with the report until the end of the claim.
- Chase the report to ensure it arrives in a timely fashion.
- Facilitate the appointment with the claimant and expert and try to make sure the location is appropriate for the claimant.
With an extensive network of experts, we can alleviate the stress of finding the right person to produce a psychologist medico-legal report. In addition to this, we can facilitate all the arrangements necessary. We can enable you to obtain the evidence you need to support a claimant properly.
You can also learn more about medico-legal aspects in this government guide.