Psychiatric Injury and Impairment Assessments from an experienced Melbourne Forensic Psychiatrist

Persons are said to develop a “psychiatric injury” when psychiatric sequelae including a diagnosable mental disorder have arisen in relation to events for which legal liability of a defendant party has been established.  Such psychiatric injuries may be the development of mental disorder in response to a stressful event, such as an Adjustment Disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Alternatively, or in addition, a psychiatric injury may arise secondary to a physical injury which has had consequences for a person’s functioning and subjective wellbeing.

The notion of psychiatric injury has a long and contentious history dating back at least to the 19th century. The assessment of psychiatric injury requires the highest levels of objectivity and thoroughness. A forensic psychiatrist is well equipped to conduct such assessments and to provide appropriate advice to the Court, Tribunal or other body involved in the processing of psychiatric injury claims.

Psychiatric Impairment and Opinions on Negligence claims

Dr Carroll has extensive experience conducting impairment assessments as a psychiatrist with Worksafe Victoria, the Transport Accident Commission, and with plaintiff and defendant lawyers.

As well as assessing for the presence of, and degree of associated impairment due to, psychiatric injuries, he also has extensive experience in providing opinions in matters of psychiatric negligence across Melbourne and wider Australia. He is able to provide opinions on those matters of ‘standard of care’ that fall within his experience and training as a psychiatrist.

Australia-Wide Medicolegal Psychiatry Assessments and Reports

Dr Carroll places a special emphasis upon the need for thorough evaluation of collateral materials when determining matters related to psychiatric injury claims. When discussing referrals, he will generally liaise closely with referring agencies and lawyers in order to ensure that appropriate collateral information, such as medical files, will be provided in a timely fashion.  In this way, Dr Carroll is able to provide best-practice objective and thorough defensible medicolegal opinions on matters of psychiatric impairment and injury.

Australia-Wide Fitness for Duty Psychiatric Evaluations

It is common for mental disorders and impairments to impact on a person in such a way that their ability to carry out the demands of their usual work is called into question.  Often, persons recovering from mental health problems require their workplace demands to be modified, at least for a period of time.

Forensic psychiatrists are therefore frequently called upon to provide opinions in such cases.  In addition, matters sometimes arise wherein a person’s suitability to practice in a profession such as law, medicine or emergency responder work is called into question because of past issues with their mental health or because of historical offending. In such cases, forensic psychiatrists can provide a robust opinion with respect to current mental health concerns and whether or not these are likely to influence fitness to practice.

Dr Carroll has extensive experience in providing opinions with respect to work capacity within the context of Worksafe and TAC assessments. He has also carried out assessments on legal and health professionals, assisting the relevant Tribunals to determine their fitness to practice.

Such assessments require a careful, ethical balance between upholding the rights of the individual on the one hand and the safety, rights and expectations of society on the other.

Dr Carroll is also able to provide opinions in criminal matters regarding fitness for trial and psychiatric factors relevant to sentencing (pre-sentence assessments). For more information or to book an assessment in Melbourne, please contact our staff by calling (03) 8592 7959, or via email at, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.