What is the role of a neuropsychologist in assessing someone's brain injury? I think it's easy to kind of look at this in two ways. The first issue when someone suffers a brain injury is to diagnose that injury itself. Kind of the most classic would be that someone has a concussion and that concussion has resulted in memory loss, personality changes, speech, or motor function. It could be a wide variety of problems and changes to that person which has affected everything about them, potentially.
A physician, typically a neurologist will make that medical determination or a medical diagnosis that there is a brain injury. But how does that brain injury affect the functioning of that person's life? This is the role of a neuropsychologist. This is a psychologist who has been specifically trained in diagnosing and understanding the effects of a brain injury on the life and function of someone in the real world.
What a neuropsychologist does is typically receive all the medical records, have an in depth interview with the person who has been affected and loved ones so they can get a clear picture of how their life has been affected, and then they give them a variety or battery of tests designed to measure, in an objective way, the loss of their cognitive abilities or other abilities. At the end of this evaluation process, the neuropsychologist is able to express an opinion to your lawyer that he or she can use in a claim for the claims adjuster or even in front of a jury if your case has to be tried. This will actually put into real world terms and quantify or measure the loss that this brain injury has caused the person.
To summarize, there is the medical diagnosis and then you have the real world functioning diagnosis which is done by the neuropsychologist to sort of express to the jury or claims adjuster the loss that the brain injury victim has suffered and how it will impact their life presently and in the future.