Competency refers to the ability of an individual to make conscious decisions or successfully perform a task, which would be highly relevant in the legal contexts. Competency expert witnesses may be called upon to offer an analysis of whether an individual is competent in his or her ability to offer testimony in the event of a court case. Competency is also highly relevant in determining the ability of an individual to sign an important contract, deed, or other legal document, which may become the subject of various forms of lawsuits.
Competency expert witnesses have experience in the psychiatric and psychological fields, as the ability to assess one’s mental state requires a background in mental health. Such experts often conduct independent medical examinations as a means of evaluating the individual in question and whether additional sources, such as bullying, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), malingering, insanity, substance abuse, or serious personal injury or trauma, has affected his or her mental state. If an individual were later deemed as not meeting the required levels of competency for trial, it would alter the outcome of a case. Because competency is determined by a mental health evaluation, competency expert witnesses are licensed and/or certified in psychiatry or psychology.
In addition to those suffering from issues with mental health, elderly individuals are also susceptible to problems with competency, as their advanced mental state may lead others to take advantage and have them sign and/or agree to contracts that they would otherwise resist. If the signer of a deed, as well as other contractual papers, did not meet the required competency standards, it could be grounds for a lawsuit.
ForensisGroup has been connecting attorneys with clients for more than twenty years with great results. Contact us today or submit an expert request form to locate an independent and highly qualified competency expert witness for your case.