Proving & Disproving Psychiatric Injury
• By Jan Malone
If a claimant who has been exposed to trauma describes psychiatric symptoms to a psychiatrist accepted by the court as an expert, who then reports that the claimant has, say, post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the litigated event, has the claimant proved the medical aspect of his case?
Not necessarily. In this article, I will attempt to set out some of the hidden medical assumptions upon which such psychiatric reports are commonly based. This may offer some hints to lawyers about potential weak spots in psychiatric reports, and how to attack or resist attack upon them.
Personal injury and employment tribunal cases are the main legal arenas in which psychiatric injury is important.
Personal injury, for example from work or traffic accidents, is associated with more dramatic conditions, such as post traumatic stress disorder. On the other hand, employment cases tend to involve claims of long-term adverse treatment rather than sudden individual events, and so tend to be associated with claims for depression and anxiety
To read the full article please click on http://www.medico-legalsociety.org.uk/articles/proving_disproving_medical_injury.pdf