Personal Injury evaluations occur when an individual sustains a psychological injury as a result of the negligent, reckless, or malicious behavior of another party. The injured party files a lawsuit requesting compensation for psychological damages resulting from this behavior. The purpose of a personal is to evaluate psychological status before and after the injury in an effort to determine if the defendant’s alleged behavior is a direct and proximate cause of mental health problems. Dr. Tarescavage has published peer-reviewed research on individuals undergoing personal injury evaluations. The American Psychological Association has additional information on personal injury assessments.
Prior to their Personal Injury Evaluation with Dr. Tarescavage, the evaluee will complete a brief history questionnaire. They will be encouraged to gather relevant medical records (if possible) to bring with them to their appointment as well as to identify a short list of people who know them well and could provide information on their recent functioning. The in-person component of the evaluation lasts approximately 2.5 hours and begins with an overview of the purpose of the evaluation as well as a review of the limitations on confidentiality. After introductions, the evaluee typically completes one-hour of psychological testing. This testing generally includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3), a widely-used and well-validated psychological test. While the evaluee is completing testing, Dr. Tarescavage will review available treatment records and attempt to contact others who know the evaluee well (with their permission). This testing, record review, and collateral information provides a comprehensive and objective foundation for a well-informed and impartial diagnostic interview. After testing and record review is completed, Dr. Tarescavage conducts the clinical interview. The first part of the interview involves the collection of background information (family, educational, medical, employment, military, legal, and substance use). The second part of the interview is the diagnostic assessment. This is by far the most comprehensive area of inquiry during the interview. Dr. Tarescavage will assess the evaluee’s symptoms, the course of their problems, and functional impairment. Finally, Dr. Tarescavage gives the evaluee preliminary feedback on their assessment results. However, Dr. Tarescavage will never give feedback on his opinion regarding whether or not the the evaluee’s injury or trauma are associated with a psychological problem during the evaluation. After the in-person evaluation is completed, Dr. Tarescavage will finish the record review and collateral contact process (if applicable) and write a 6 to 8 page report detailing his findings and opinions. The referral source will receive the report within three business days of the evaluation (assuming additional records do not need to be requested).