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CENTRE FOR ADVANCED ASSESSMENT

Independent Psychological & Neuropsychological Assessment

Independent Psychological
& Neuropsychological Assessment

The CORTEX Centre focuses on complex cases and high achievers in high stakes psychological and neuropsychological assessment applications. These independent assessments provide diagnosis, causality determination, prognosis, and evaluation of the impact of impairment on work, education, daily and social function, and community living in a medicolegal context.

Personal Injury

Personal injury assessments examine impairments sustained by an individual as a result of accident or injury. Completed by a neuropsychologist or psychologist with court expertise, such assessments are employed in the course of litigation of injuries and disability in various legal contexts.

The CORTEX Centre’s assessments answer various personal injury related questions, including:

  • Determination of symptoms, performance validity, and evaluation of both positive and negative response bias
  • Diagnosis of psychological and neuropsychological impairments
  • Impact of impairments on occupational and personal function
  • Determination of work capacity and disability
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment and rehabilitation recommendations

Our experts identify and integrate relevant facts and assumptions arising from the assessment data before presenting medicolegal opinions that adhere to advanced professional and scientific standards.

Circumstances calling for personal injury assessments may include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents; cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrian accidents
  • Aviation accidents sustained from plane or helicopter crashes
  • Maritime (boating) accidents
  • Sports injuries or other accidents caused by such issues as a slip/fall, recreational activities, and/or general travel
  • Product defect accidents from product or equipment malfunctioning
  • Sexual and physical assaults

In addition to diagnostic, causality, and prognostic issues, CORTEX Centre assessments focus on work capacity, and help determine the impact of psychological and neuropsychological impairment on all aspects of a person’s functioning. By uniquely integrating clinical, occupational, and medicolegal aspects of impairment and disability, we are able to collect relevant evidence from multiple sources using state-of-the-art forensic methodology to answer referral questions with objectivity and precision.

Employment Law & Human Rights

Psychological and neuropsychological assessments in this context cover allegations of human rights violations, as well as various workplace concerns including employee selection, discipline, dismissal, duty to accommodate, bullying, incivility, and harassment.

CORTEX Centre assessments often evaluate individuals in the context of the workplace and their occupational functions. We focus on the interaction between a person’s psychological and neuropsychological functioning and their workplace environment. When required, our experts can distinguish clinical issues affecting an individual’s mental health (e.g., the evaluation of the psychological effects of bullying and harassment in the workplace) from labour relations issues.

Moreover, due to our expertise in work accommodations for mental health, trauma, pain, and brain injury cases, the CORTEX Centre is capable of identifying functional impairments, often nonvisible but disabling, that require specific work accommodations.

More information concerning work accommodations can be found in Work Accommodation and Retention in Mental Health.

Medical Malpractice

This assessment concerns the impact of accidental errors or ethical violations made by physicians or allied health professionals in the course of their medical practice or other healthcare services, and can include all patient age groups.

Medical malpractice lawsuits concerning children are often associated with injuries at birth that require diagnostic assessment, causality determination, and evaluation of the impact of impairment on function from a developmental perspective. Prognostic determinations into adulthood would often be provided as part of these assessments.

Assessments for adults in the context of medical malpractice lawsuits involve determination of the neuropsychological, psychological, and vocational impact of brain injury, emotional trauma, chronic pain, and other losses sustained (or purported to have been sustained) as a result of medical or healthcare-related errors.

Ethical violations of physicians and other health professionals may cause psychological injuries, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, resulting in chronic psychological losses. Claims against health professionals may also arise within personal injury or human rights law. Psychological assessment can delineate the nature of any psychological injuries and their impact on the patient’s occupational and personal functioning.

In addition to in-depth psychological or neuropsychological diagnosis, CORTEX Centre assessments assist with disentangling relevant causality factors and can provide evidence-based predictions of future functioning, specifically within the context of work and school. Our experts conduct a thorough investigation of psychological and neuropsychological impairments arising from medical malpractice and determine their impact on daily life, schooling, employment, and career. The CORTEX Centre is particularly strong in science- and evidence-informed prognostication from both clinical and vocational perspectives.

More information concerning science-based predictions of future disability and effective interventions targeting modifiable risk factors for disability can be found in Handbook of Complex Occupational Disability Claims: Early Risk Identification, Intervention, and Prevention and Handbook of Return to Work: From Research to Practice.

Family Law

In divorce cases, psychological and/or neuropsychological assessments provide clinical diagnosis and determination of the impact of psychological impairment on the employment and employability of one or both spouses as part of the determination of divorce or settlement. The mental competence of a family member making a major financial, will, estate, or health decision may also become a subject of litigation and require psychological or neuropsychological evaluation.

Psychological factors may interfere with the employability of a divorcing spouse, making them more financially vulnerable and potentially dependent on the other spouse. In addition, such factors as disabling depression or cognitive difficulties may affect the mental competence of individuals when considering and signing prenuptial financial agreements and making other major financial, estate, personal health or life decisions. Psychological examination of previous health records and retrospective assessments of mental status may clarify issues related to past mental competence.

The CORTEX Centre provides an objective determination of a person’s psychological functioning, vocational capacity, and mental competence to help settle disputes that can arise with respect to the employability and finances of one or both partners during the course of a divorce settlement. In other litigation contexts, we also help determine mental competence of persons often vulnerable due to ill health and advanced age, making major financial, will, estate, health, and life decisions that are questioned by family or others.

Long Term Disability

Typically required by health and disability insurance companies, or requested in litigation and appeals associated with the denial of long term disability benefits, this assessment determines psychological and neuropsychological impairments in the context of long term disability claims.

CORTEX Centre assessments objectively determine an individual’s psychological and neuropsychological functioning, focusing on complex, often nonvisible, disabilities where returning to work is a challenge.

Based on accumulated assessment evidence, we provide:

  • Mental health and neuropsychological diagnosis
  • Determination of psychological or neuropsychological impairment
  • Evaluation of the impact of impairment(s) on work capacity, functioning, and readiness to return to work
  • Clinical and vocational prognosis
  • Specific clinical, rehabilitation, and return to work recommendations
  • Other assessment foci as needed

We are also available for follow up questions, and can identify the most effective interventions to help individuals return to work and stay at work.

Assessment of High Achievers

Meeting the highest courtroom standards, this highly specialized medicolegal assessment precisely answers referral questions about the range of psychological, neuropsychological, and functional losses unique to high achievers in occupational and career contexts.

The CORTEX Centre uniquely specializes in independent medicolegal neuropsychological and psychological assessments of high achievers using newly developed, advanced methodology that captures specific losses achievers may sustain in psychological, cognitive, and vocational functioning. These often difficult-to-capture losses may be both clinical and occupational.

High achievers, such as professionals and business executives, tend to work in exceptionally demanding and competitive occupational domains; they may have to minimize or conceal their difficulties by working harder and applying sophisticated compensatory strategies. Even subtle difficulties may translate into a loss of competitive edge and significant professional, career, or business losses in the multi-million dollar range.

Challenging and complex, these assessments employ advanced psychological and neuropsychological methods and state-of-the-art evidence-based approaches to determine:

  • Losses arising from acquired brain injury
  • Emotional or physical trauma
  • Injury-related stressors and burden of symptoms
  • Ongoing clinical symptoms; including mental health issues, cognitive challenges, pain, and fatigue

CORTEX Centre assessments of high achievers, as well as gifted and talented individuals, can detect subtle psychological and neuropsychological losses that are otherwise difficult to identify using conventional methods, thus determining their impact on career and functioning. We apply innovative, evidence-based, prognostic CORTEX Centre-developed methodology and provide multidisciplinary recommendations. Our experts have considerable academic, clinical, and court expertise in preparing reports that meet the highest medicolegal standards.