If a claimant has suffered a psychological injury, a medico-legal report can help clarify the severity of their injury and aid with proving that it was caused or worsened by the defendant’s negligence. This process is referred to as psychologist medico-legal reporting.
A medico-legal consultant would assess the claimant’s injuries and create the report, which can be used to help build and prove their case. It can be a very important piece of evidence and could help illustrate the psychological harm caused by the injury.
Contact us to learn more or, if you prefer, please read on.
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- What Is Psychologist Medico-Legal Reporting?
- Why Would You Need A Psychologist Medico-Legal Report?
- What Should A Medical Report From A Psychologist Contain?
- Finding A Medico-Legal Psychologist
- How To Work With A Psychologist For Medico-Legal Reporting
- Get Help With Psychologist Medico-Legal Reporting
Psychological injuries can be incredibly difficult to deal with. They can be long-lasting or permanent and can, in some instances, cause personality changes that can affect relationships. Furthermore, they can be difficult to prove without medical evidence.
This is where a medico-legal report can help. Reports of this nature are written by independent medical experts in the relevant field and can clarify:
- How the injury could have been caused and whether it’s consistent with the accident described
- How severe the injury is
- Other factors such as the prognosis and recommended treatment
Medico legal reports can not only support the validity of claims but can illustrate some of the struggles and hardships a claimant is having to deal with due to the incident that caused them harm.
Psychologist medico-legal reporting focuses on mental damage caused by an accident (such as personal injury) or an event (such as a data breach) that another party was liable for.
It’s important that medico-legal experts provide relevant and unbiased insight. This is because they owe the courts a duty to be factual, rather than owing the claimant or defendant a duty to support their case.
Through medico-legal agencies, you can source the services of a relevant medical expert to assess the full nature of a claimant’s injury. They assess the initial symptoms, their longevity and establish a prognosis too. Psychologist medico-legal reporting, in this regard, is very in-depth as its primary purpose is to provide expert analysis on the pain and suffering caused.
In addition, the report can help establish causation between the actual event and the harm suffered. This is partly done by the expert reading your client’s medical history to see if there was any pre-existing mental illness. Through this, the expert can come to any of the following conclusions:
- All of the mental harm was inflicted by the incident.
- There may have been a pre-existing mental illness that was exacerbated by the incident. They can also conclude that some mental harm was caused by the incident and other mental health problems were simply worsened by it.
- The mental health issues were already present before the incident, weren’t worsened by it, and so were not caused by it.
The report from the medico-legal psychologist also enables lawyers to value the injuries suffered. The Judicial College Guidelines can be used alongside the report to aid the calculation of an accurate injury value.
You may be wondering what psychologist medico-legal reporting could consist of. It provides a detailed, impartial report of a claimant’s psychological injuries. To do this, medico-legal experts assess the following:
- The circumstances of the accident or event, and whether the injury could be caused by this.
- The nature of the injuries and the effect they’ve had on the claimant’s life.
- Treatment already provided to the claimant and whether the treatment plan has been successful.
- The claimant’s prognosis for recovery and details relating to permanent or future issues as a result of the incident.
It’s important to bear in mind that the medico-legal report is addressed to the court. This is because experts have an overriding duty to the court and not to the instructing party. This means that the report cannot be biased and must only be based on their honest professional opinion built on their years of experience.
It can be difficult to know how to contact the relevant expert for psychologist medico-legal reporting. Using search engines can bring up hundreds of results. Some of these, however, might be outdated and the expert may have retired or simply be no longer practising.
There are easier ways to find medico-legal psychologist experts. Medical agencies have a list of eligible psychologists who could provide a report.
Medico-legal agencies can take the stress and strain out of attempting to find and contact experts directly. Instead, all you would do is contact the agency with details of the type of expert you require. They will then look for someone who is available for medico-legal work.
Another advantage of using an agency revolves around the payment of the expert’s services. Using a medical agency means that you could be able to defer payment until the end of the claim, meaning the fees can be recovered from the costs claimed back.
You may be wondering what the series of events are for receiving a medico-legal report. As previously stated, you can find a medical expert directly or go through an agency, which you may find easier and more convenient to do. The series of events to get psychologist medico-legal reporting include:
- Firstly, finding a professional expert. They’d need to have had medico-legal training and be certified to do such assessments and reports. Using the services of a professional without the proper training wouldn’t be allowed, especially if the professional already provides healthcare to the claimant.
- Sending an instruction letter to the expert or the agency. In this, you explain the circumstances surrounding the accident/injury and ask the expert to help compile a report that establishes the symptoms and effects of the claimant’s injury. In particular, they will be asked to examine the severity of the injury and to provide a prognosis.
- Sending the claimant’s medical records along with the instruction letter (mentioned above). Medical agencies can, however, obtain medical records on behalf of the solicitor or claimant if preferred.
- The agency liaises both with the expert and the claimant to arrange an appointment if you’ve chosen to use their services.
- The claimant attends the appointment so that the expert can fully assess their injuries.
- Finally, the report would be produced once the expert has had time to fully conclude their findings.
There are many benefits to using medico-legal agencies. It can sometimes be difficult to acquire a psychologist medico-legal report directly, especially when the injury calls for a specialist in a certain field. In comparison, medico-legal companies will have a list of experts for various injuries.
Therefore, the benefits of using an agency can include:
- Their extensive network of contacts means that you should be easily provided with an appropriate expert.
- Your client’s location should be taken into consideration to make sure the appointment is as easy as possible for them to get to.
- They can cover the initial costs of the expert’s report. This means that the costs of psychologist medico-legal reporting can be left until after the claim has been settled.
- They chase the medico-legal expert if they haven’t delivered their report within a specific timeframe.
Ultimately, obtaining a medico-legal report could be a major factor in the claimant receiving compensation. It can, however, be difficult to know how to contact the person that’s appropriate for the case. This is how agencies can help. They not only get in touch with the expert but facilitate the instructions and arrange the appointment the claimant needs.
In making sure the expert is reliable, available and experienced, an agency’s services mean that you can be reassured that you can focus on building the case. Contact us today to learn more about how an agency’s services could help you.