A Medico-Legal Report is a report that is written by a doctor or other health professional (such as a Registered Psychologist) for legal proceedings. It is a document made to support you in any legal or court proceedings that requires proof and/or evidence of your medical history or background. The details of what goes into the report is dependent on the situation and requirements of the case. Furthermore, when required, the medico-legal report may include an in-depth explanation of your condition, information about treatment plans and your client’s progress, as well as any other necessary medical facts. This information is then provided to law firms and solicitors for the case in court or other legal settings.
There are a variety of settings in which a medico-legal report may be required. Below are a few examples of settings in which medico-legal reports can be asked for and used.
1. Criminal Law
2. Family Law and Care Proceedings
3. Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence
Medico-legal reports in criminal law are often written to assess the ability of the defendant to plead guilty. They are often required to provide a comment on the defendant’s mental state at the time the offence was committed. When asked to do so, the Psychologist, or other health professional, may be required to assess and comment on the defendants mental capacity.
Family Law and Care Proceedings:
A medico-legal report in this setting can be used to establish whether or not a parent or carer has a psychological illness. The report can also be used to see whether the symptoms of the disorder had/will have an impact on the child(ren)’s safety. In cases where there is a history of offending, a forensic assessment may be done on the parent’s level of risk to the rest of the family. Medico-legal reports can also be used in private law proceedings where one parent has raised concerns or allegations against the other.
Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence:
In personal injury cases, medico-legal reports are needed to verify psychiatric or psychological injuries. They can also be used as a method for the court to quantity the injuries suffered and the severity experienced. It can also be useful in illustrating the causation of the injury, which may be used by, or play a role in the courts decision.
Why are they important in court proceedings:
You may be wondering, why are they so important? In cases of personal injury and clinical negligence, or private familial cases, medico-legal reports are essential in supporting the client’s case. The medico-legal report can be used to support the client’s claims, depending on the case and the outcome of the assessment. They can be used as evidence showing that the injury was caused in the way it was reported and to confirm the severity of the sustained injury. It can also be submitted as vital evidence in a case, as it provides detailed accounts of what happened.
Who can write a medico legal report:
Medico-legal reports need to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules to be suitable for use within UK courts. As a result, they are often written by doctors or other health professionals that have the correct training to do so. Therefore, medico-legal reports are often written by those within a clinical practice such as Registered Psychologists. The professional in charge of writing the report would have received training that enables them to review and analyse the records (medical etc.) provided to them in an objective way, in order to provide a comprehensive yet succinct summary of the information required.
The medical professional in charge of writing the report will often have the ability to complete the medico-legal reports in a way that avoids over-technical language so that all the individuals who read it, will be able to understand and make sense of the report, irrespective of their professional backgrounds. One way this can be achieved, is through ensuring that any, and all medical terminology is defined and understandable to the reader. This ensures that the report itself is clear and all the information can be understood.
How to apply for a Medico-Legal Report:
Medico-legal reports are often commissioned by lawyers or solicitors to ensure that all the relevant details are provided to the Psychologist or other health expert that is in charge writing the report.
If you are a solicitor or law firm in need of a medico-legal report for a case, the team here at The Mind Remedy are here to help. With a starting cost of around £1500 (depending on the case), The Mind Remedy are proficient in assisting solicitors with medico-legal reports, with a fast turnaround on a tight deadline.
To learn more about our services, or to enquire about a medico-legal report, get in touch today by giving us a call on 07931903310 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with all the relevant information.