Common Mistakes Defendants Make Regarding Damages in Personal Injury Cases: Deposing Key Witnesses and Lack of a Damages Expert

December 23rd, 2014
OAS Specializes in evaluating seriously injured individuals in Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Motor Vehicle Accident, and Slip and Fall cases. A vocational evaluation is necessary in personal injury cases where an individual’s injury has affected the persons’ ability to go back and perform the same type of work, or to perform work activity which requires less physical demands.

Dr. Patrick Gaughan,  a forensic economist with Economatrix, reveals ten common mistakes that the defense may make during the damages portion of a personal injury case. This week, we examine two of these ten mistakes each day in a series of five blogs.

Mistake #3: “Deposing Key Witnesses on Liability Only.” Defense attorneys may depose plaintiffs in regard to the liability portion of a claim but may fail to bring up a plaintiff’s employment and compensation history, including any periods of unemployment. The plaintiff’s side should have full knowledge of all this information, even if the defense does not bring it up in court.

Mistake #4: “Not Getting a Damages Expert On Board Early Enough.” Insurance companies demand that defense attorneys save money wherever they can. As a result, defense lawyers may not call in a damages expert in the hopes that the case will settle. But if the case does not settle and goes to trial, the defense may call a damages expert too late to allow time for a full discovery.

No matter what the defense side may do, the plaintiff’s attorneys in a personal injury case should always be properly prepared. A vocational expert can be an important part of a plaintiff’s or defendant’s case. Vocational experts can testify to matters such as how a plaintiff can expect to be able to perform at work after an injury,  what type of work the plaintiff can perform,  how the injuries impact the injured persons’ vocational capacity and work-life expectancy.

Information from a vocational expert can help the court make more informed choices about the number of damages to award to a plaintiff in a personal injury case.

Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the top companies providing vocational expert and life care planning services in the United States for plaintiff and defendant attorneys. We have extensive experience documenting the case damages in Personal Injury cases.  Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help with your case.

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