How to write a psychiatric report for litigation following a personal injury

Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Feb;143(2):164-9. doi: 10.1176/ajp.143.2.164.


Psychiatrists are frequently asked to assess the psychiatric complications of personal injury cases for individuals who are seeking damages from third parties as the result of an accident. A selective review of the literature concerning the etiology and diagnoses applicable to psychiatric morbidity following personal injury is summarized. The author presents one outline of the medical-legal consultation. The reasons for inclusion of each category of information are discussed, and practical suggestions are made on how the data can be interpreted and used to educate the judicial system about the emotional consequences of accidents.

MeSH terms

  • Consultants
  • Data Collection
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence
  • Life Change Events
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Records*
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology
  • Writing*