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Overview of Psychological Services for Civil Court

In civil court, psychologists are most often engaged as experts to assess emotional factors related to personal injury litigation. Psychologists assess specific emotional factors that might result from traumatic injury, such as post-traumatic stress, depression, chronic pain or anxiety  If a head injury is present, psychologists may include neuropsychological assessment to evaluate memory dysfunction, or other types of cognitive impairment which may coincide with the physical injuries. Psychologists may also be asked to evaluate the long term emotional impact of events, such as the impact on a child of losing his/her mother, or the impact of victimization related to a criminal act.

In the area of employment law, psychologists can be involved, at the request of either the plaintiff or the defense, in the assessment of psychological factors related to harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace, discrimination issues, and psychological disability related to Worker's Compensation. In cases of identified or acknowledged harassment or discrimination procedures, psychologists may also be employed to remediate problems by providing re-education programs for the offending supervisors or managers.

Psychologists may also provide expert evaluation services for the surrogate court, and can offer evaluation and counseling services related to elder law. Psychologists may be called upon to complete competency evaluations prior to or following the execution of wills, power of attorney, or in the process of establishing a guardianship for an incapacitated individual. Psychologists may be involved in completing post-mortem assessments following unusual death circumstances to attempt to determine, post-mortem, whether an individual's death is related to suicide or other causes. This is called a psychological autopsy.

More information about psychological services for civil court: