There are situations in a personal injury case where the opposing party may request you undergo a psychological, neuropsychological or psychiatric test. Generally, this occurs if you are claiming psychological, neuropsychological or psychiatric injuries (e.g. brain injuries, emotional suffering such as fear of driving, depression, panic attacks, anxiety disorder, etc.). Usually, the psychologist, neuropsychologist or psychiatrist who will evaluate you is retained by the opposing party and thus, is prejudiced to side with the side paying the bill. A experienced San Antonio car accident lawyers explains how your rights can be protected when you are required to undergo such tests.
Protecting Your Rights
There are many ways to administer and score the tests. A skilled San Antonio car accident lawyer will:
- Learn the Tests – One way to attack the defense doctor’s evaluation and result is to understand the test the doctor administered. First, the administered test must be a proper screening device for your condition. Second, the doctor must exactly follow the correct testing protocol.
- Learn the Mental Health Diagnoses and Conditions – a reliable source that the defense doctor will likely reference is the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (“DSM”), which is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the U.S. It contains three major components: diagnostic classification, diagnostic criteria sets, and descriptive text.
- Obtain the Raw Data – by obtaining the raw testing data, and not just relying on the defense expert report, your attorney will have access to the actual test you took, your responses, the test results, and computer printouts that may contain beneficial language not included in the defense expert’s report.
- Get a Second Opinion – Your own expert will be able to rebut and undermine the defense expert’s assessment and conclusions through new tests and review of your test results.
Seek a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer
For more information regarding psychological testing, contact a knowledgeable San Antonio car accident lawyer with Brylak Law at (210) 372-8111.