A forensic neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of brain function, often with assessment of psychiatric factors, as well, related to a legal question. The types of legal issues addressed vary greatly and include, but are not limited to:
Personal Injury: Has an individual suffered an emotional injury or an injury to the brain as a result of, for example, an accident, medical mishap, exposure to a toxic substance, fall? If so, what is the nature and extent of the problem?
Disability: Does an individual have a brain illness/injury or psychiatric disorder that prevents the person from returning to work? If so, what is the nature and extent of the problem?
Elder Law / Probate Issues: Does / did an individual have testamentary capacity when he/she signed a legal document (a will, power of attorney, trust, property deed)? Is / was an individual a vulnerable adult according to A.R.S. §46-451? Is / was an individual an incapacitated person according to A.R.S. §14-5101? Is / was an individual susceptible to undue influence?
Criminal matters: Is a defendant in a criminal matter competent to proceed to trial?Does the defendant qualify to enter a plea of guilty except insane?Are there mitigating circumstances with respect to sentencing?The length of a forensic evaluation varies and depends on what is requested or required. Typically, an evaluation can be completed in one day (from two hours to several hours).
Examination versus record review: Dr. Blackwood has experience and expertise both in performing examinations of individuals to address questions such as those listed above, as well as experience in reviewing records (e.g., medical, vocational, school records) to address such questions when a direct examination of an individual is not possible.
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