Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Assessment

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A forensic assessment may serve a number of purposes in both criminal and civil contexts. In the context of civil litigation, a forensic mental health professional may be called to provide an assessment in a personal injury case. For example, the professional may be asked to identify whether a traumatic disability or syndrome exists and, if so, to determine the severity and impact on an individual’s functional abilities. Personal injury litigation expands over several areas.

Using resources from the professional literature, research two types of reports written for civil litigation purposes. The literature may include the Argosy University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and scholarly websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions.

Based on your research, create a 3- to 4-page paper in a Microsoft Word document responding to the following:

  • Discuss at least two ways in which a forensic assessment may be required in each type of civil forensic case.
  • Identify the specific psycholegal issues to be addressed in each type of evaluation.
  • Discuss the role of the independent medical examiner or independent forensic psychologist.
  • Discuss several key elements that the forensic mental health professional would want to include in the report.
  • Identify the legal entity or stakeholder (e.g., defense attorney) who might request each type of assessment report and explain the potential reasons for the requests. In other words, what might the forensic professional add to an understanding of the case beyond what is generally known by laypeople?
  • Describe the assessments that are utilized to write the reports.
  • Identify the limitations of the reports.

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