Past Issues

Forensic Psychiatric Evaluations for Civil Compensation

Chien-Tzu Wu, M.D.1,2, Shi-Kai Liu,M.D.1,3, Ming H. Hsieh, M.D.1, Chun-Lin Chen, M.D., M.A.1,3

Objective: The current study explored the characteristics of civil compensation cases referred for forensic evaluations, focusing on related legal andmedical issues. Methods: Cases receiving forensic evaluation for civil compensation at the National Taiwan University Hospital from 1961 to 2005 were reviewed retrospectively. A classification based on the nature and consequences of the injuries with related assessment issues was attempted and summaries of typical cases were provided to illustrate distinct features of individual categories. Results: Thirty out of a total of 341 civil forensic cases were compensation cases. Among them, brain injuries were the most common type of injury (25). Three cases claimed psychic injuries. The courts were most concerned with the sequelae of the injuries, including the prognosis, degree of decrements in occupational capacity, and severity of disability. The courts inquired about the causal relationship between the accidents and clinical manifestations in only 9 cases. Conclusion: In psychiatric evaluation for civil compensation, the causal relationship between the accidents and the subject's mental status should take into consideration the issue of liability, the nature of the injury, and the impact of legal processes. Psychic injury as the target of claim posed substantial difficulties for the determination of causation and level of disability. (Full text in Chinese)
Key Word forensic evaluation, civil compensation, compensation neurosis
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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