2002 issue 3

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Volume 11, issue 3

Forensic psychiatry

Forensic-psychiatric opinions on traffic accident offenders

ELŻBIETA BOGDANOWICZ1, Danuta Hajdukiewicz1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Pruszkowie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2002, 11, 211-222
Keywords: traffic accidents, forensic-psychiatric opinions
Abstract

Thirty-seven forensic-psychiatric opinions issued by the Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1995-2001 and 72 opinions issued earlier in the same cases by other experts are analyzed. The material covers 37 male traffic offenders. Fifteen of the offenders (40%) fled from the site of the accident. Only three offenders qualified for the insanity defence and one offender was qualified legally unaccountable because of post-traumatic disturbances of consciousness. In six cases (20%) the former and latter experts disagreed because of different evaluations of the offenders' mental condition tempore criminis, mainly alcoholic intoxication and disturbances of consciousness. In our opinion these discrepancies of opinion were caused by careles.1•studying of the legal documentation. Differences in opinion on the presence or absence of "post-accident shock" concerned the intensity of acute post-traumatic symptoms. Proper evaluation of these symptoms requires more thorough analysis of the legal documentation in order to judge the behavior of offenders who flee the accident site. The greatest discrepancies had to do with evaluation of the offenders' capacity to stand before court and complete their term in prison (both of which had often been certified by incompetent psychiatrists).

Address for correspondence:
Adres: Dr Elżbieta Bogdanowicz,
Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii,
ul. Partyzantów 214, 05-802 Pruszków