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Focusing on Psychiatric and Psychological Documentation in

Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and other Civil Matters

"Your annotations on the expert's report were brilliant.

This work is invaluable for plaintiff and defense attorneys." 

Garden-Variety, Significant/Substantial, or Egregious Emotional Distress"

Do you receive psychiatric, psychological, and other mental health evaluations—progress notes, medical records, education records, employment records, witness reports, police reports, and depositions?

Psych Document Review assists attorneys in proving or disproving claims of negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress & pain and suffering. In most cases, further assessment of the claimant is not necessary.


Dr. Mark Lerner provides detailed document annotations and executive summaries that address the extent of a plaintiff's emotional and functional problems. Data can be instrumental in determining whether an event was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's alleged difficulties. 

Document review empowers plaintiff and defense counsel to: 

       •  identify strengths and weaknesses in clinical documentation,

       •  understand empirical psychometric test results and pinpoint critical findings, 

       •  provide unsettling questions for depositions and trials that practitioners DO NOT want to be asked, and

       •  save the expense of unnecessary and time-consuming psychiatric and psychological evaluations.

 In just days, Dr. Lerner provided skillfully annotated documents that reinforced our legal strategy and obviated the need for costly and time-consuming reevaluation."

Unlike a treating therapist or testifying expert, a forensic consultant functions under the cover of the attorney's work product. And since documentation review does not involve diagnosis, treatment, evaluation, or prevention of a disorder, it is not the professional practice of psychology. This enables Dr. Lerner to consult regularly with attorneys across the country.


The Second Circuit Sorts Emotional Distress Into Three Categories: 

“Garden-Variety,” Significant/Substantial,” and “Egregious”


Garden-Variety distress claims have been divided into low-end claims ($5,000 to $15,000) and high-end claims ($20,000 to $35,000). Such awards have been rendered in cases where the evidence of harm was presented primarily through the testimony of the plaintiff without medical corroboration.  


Significant ($50,000 to $100,000) and Substantial emotional distress claims ($100,000). These claims differ from garden-variety claims in that they are based on more serious harm or more offensive conduct, and are often corroborated by witnesses or medical documentation. 


Egregious emotional distress claims are in excess of $100,000. These claims have been awarded when the defendant's conduct was outrageous and shocking or where the physical health of plaintiff was significantly affected.


In all cases, having psychiatric and/or psychological documentation that substantiates significant emotional and functional problems will increase the likelihood of an award for emotional distress & pain and suffering.

Dr. Mark Lerner
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Dr. Mark Lerner is a clinical and forensic psychologist with over thirty-five years of experience conducting psychological evaluations, providing testimony as an expert witness for plaintiffs and defendants, consulting with the legal community, providing psychological documentation reviews, and treating people who have experienced traumatic events. He is the founder of Lerner Psychological Services, P.C. in Melville, New York. As chairman and CEO of The National Center for Emotional Wellness, Inc., he provides practical information, training and support for organizations and corporations, educational institutions, healthcare providers, and first responders around the world. 


Throughout his career Dr. Lerner has been called upon to consult with and train organizations, including private and public corporations, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, airlines, police and fire departments, universities and schools, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the United Nations in New York and Paris, France. The United Nations has appointed him as an Expert Consultant with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security.


Dr. Lerner is the originator and creator of the Acute Traumatic Stress Management (ATSM) intervention model utilized around the world. He has authored several books based on this model including Acute Traumatic Stress Management, Comprehensive Acute Traumatic Stress Management, A Practical Guide for School Crisis Response and A Practical Guide for University Crisis Response. Dr. Lerner has additionally authored It's OK Not To Be OK ... During a Crisis, Surviving & Thriving ... Living Through a Traumatic Experience, and CrisisNotes.  


Dr. Mark Lerner

Lerner Psychological Services, P.C.

150 Broadhollow Road, Suite 102

Melville, New York  11747

Tel: 631 385-7551​

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© 2022 By Lerner Psychological Services, P.C.

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