Forensic evaluations are performed in the setting of the criminal justice system and not the medical system. Therefore, these types of evaluations are not covered by insurance and are paid for through the services of an attorney.
Referrals for a forensic evaluation must come from the court or an attorney representing a client needing an evaluation. An individual client cannot self-refer for a forensic evaluation.
The amount of time needed for a particular evaluation can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case, the amount of material to review, the number of other individuals needing to be contacted, and the consultation question being asked. Most evaluations take 7-15 hours, with some more complex evaluations taking up to 50 or more hours. These evaluations can take as little as 1 month to complete to as long as a year or more, depending on the case.
During the initial consultation with the court or attorney, the fees will be reviewed and a mutual fee agreement will be reached between the parties before any part of the evaluation begins.
A forensic evaluation is not a clinical or medical evaluation and is not used for treatment. Therefore, no prescriptions or additional referrals outside of the forensic evaluation will be made.
Forensic evaluations can be a critical element of a legal defense in both civil and criminal matters. This type of evaluation can provide valuable information to the court about the individual’s mental health history, social history, personality variables, and critical life events. The report that comes from a forensic evaluation is a comprehensive evaluation that provides an extensive look into current and historical factors about an individual.
No. The usual confidential relationship between a client and doctor does not apply in matters of civil and criminal litigation. The report and findings will be given to the requesting party which could include an insurance company, attorney, court, or other agency.