In a personal injury case, part of a plaintiff’s claimed damages will be based on evidence that the plaintiff cannot go back to the same type of work they had before they were injured. A vocational expert witness can prove why an individual cannot return to work, and help quantify the resulting damages.
In one personal injury case, a 44 year old man suffered an injury from an elevator drop. The accident occurred at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where the plaintiff was employed by the State as an elevator operator. While his car was descending from the tenth floor it suddenly dropped, coming to a halt on the buffer springs in the basement.
The injured elevator operator sued the elevator company, claiming that this accident caused a twisting and derangement of his spine and soft tissue, causing spinal stenosis and chronic radiculopathy in the legs. He had two laminectomies and a spinal fusion.
The plaintiff argued that the accident was caused by defendant’s negligence. He claimed that the elevator company’s employees excessively lubricated the cable, causing the car to slide without traction.
At the time of the accident, the plaintiff earned $17,000 per year. He tried to return to work for two weeks after the accident but was forced to leave because of constant pain. The plaintiff’s vocational rehabilitation expert, Edmond Provder, testified that because of his pain, plaintiff would not be capable of returning to his job or a similar one. An expert witness economist testified the plaintiff’s lost earnings were $450,000.
The jury awarded $1,500,000 to the plaintiff and his wife, who also had a claim for loss of services. The claim was settled for $850,000 pursuant to a settlement agreement.
Edmond Provder, owner of Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS), is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who has worked in the field for over forty years. OAS is one of the foremost companies providing vocational expert and life care planning services in the United States. The experts at OAS have assisted in many of the top personal injury cases in New York and New Jersey. Contact us at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help documents the damages in your case.