Ottawa Lawyer: What does my GAF score mean?

Ottawa Lawyer – If you have suffered an Ottawa accident, you may have been assessed using a GAF score. The GAF score, or Global Assessment of Functioning score, is used to determine an individual’s mental health in terms of their social, psychological and occupational functioning. In personal injury cases, this scale is used by medical professionals to assess an injured person’s mental state. This is important because it can play a role in determining the extent of impact an injury has on a person as well as the degree of compensation an individual receives.

GAF scores operate on a one hundred point scale. Within this scale, there are ranges that designate a person’s level of functioning. For example, someone with a “perfect” score, one between 91 and 100, means that the person has no symptoms, meaning they have no difficulties pursuing day-to-day tasks and can perform a wide range of activities. Someone with mild symptoms would have a score between 61 and 70. A person with this GAF score would likely have some mild symptoms such as minor depression or insomnia or some difficulty with functioning in social or occupational environments. More severe symptoms are categorized by a score below 50 and can involve thoughts of suicide, illogical speech, social or legal deviancy, delusions, hallucinations, and danger to himself/herself or others. There is a wide range of GAF scores and only a professional assessment by a medical doctor will accurately determine an individual’s level of functioning.

The GAF score can be instrumental in determining the cost of medical care and the nature of treatment involved for someone who has suffered a personal injury that has affected their functioning in this way. Legally, it is necessary to determine the extent of an individual’s injuries and sometimes this includes the ways in which their mental health has been affected, before a personal injury case can be resolved. Once we know an individual’s GAF score and understand their level of functioning and how this is related to the accident, we are equipped to assess the legal matters and determine the best course of action. A personal injury lawyer with experience in cases that involve Global Assessments of Functioning can help you with the details of your particular case.

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