Determining Lost Earnings Due to the Personal Injury or Disability of a Child
There is no doubt that it is terribly sad when anyone suffers a personal injury or disability, but the situation may be even worse if the victim is a child. We all want our children to be able to fulfill their potential, and if this ability is taken from a child by injury, it is tragic.
The costs of caring for a catastrophically injured child can be astronomical. In a personal injury case, the parents of the injured child may look at having a life care plan performed to detail the long term cost of care required for the child over their lifetime.
But determining the exact costs of caring for a disabled child can be very difficult. Compounding the difficulty is the fact that the child probably has yet to earn an income, so it may seem nearly impossible to figure out how to explain the potential loss of income to a judge.
It is not impossible to calculate such costs, though. This is where the testimony of a vocational expert can be of tremendous help as part of a court case involving an injured child. Vocational experts have access to data and statistics that can explain what a child could have expected to earn based on their expected educational attainment if not for their injury and limitations.
In a paper that appeared in the professional Journal of Forensic Economics, researchers Laurence Spizman and John Kane presented a model by which vocational experts and economists may be able to determine potential lost earnings based on the disability suffered by a child. Their model considers two primary factors: 1) “the probability distribution over alternative levels of the child’s expected educational attainment is estimated from observable family background information (e.g., race, sex, and parent’s education) using an ordered probit model,” and 2) the child’s expected lifetime earnings’stream is generated using the estimated probit equation.” The full statistical model is provided in the paper.
Using the PEEDS-Rapel Methodology, the vocational expert is able to determine the child’s future loss of earning capacity.
Vocational experts are experienced in explaining to the court how childhood injuries and resultant limitations will affect the child’s future employability and earning capacity, and consider the cost of the expected costs of the disability when ruling on compensation.
Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the top companies providing vocational expert and life care planning services for seriously injured children in the United States. We have extensive experience creating life care plans for plaintiffs who have suffered catastrophic injuries. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help with your case.