Laying a Medical Foundation for a Vocational Expert Opinions

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Following a serious injury–such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or other catastrophic injuries—questions about whether the injured person will be able to maintain employment and earn enough money to take care of him- or herself or a family often arise. If the injury case goes to trial, the attorney for the injured person will almost certainly make every attempt to lead the jury to sympathize with the situation and request the jury agree to award money to compensate for lost income, lost benefits, and lost earning capacity due to the accident. A vocational expert can testify that the injured person is entitled to such remuneration.

While it may be a natural reaction for a jury to feel for a person who has suffered a catastrophic injury, jurors are required by a judge to base their decisions on the facts of the case rather than on emotion. Plaintiff and Defense personal injury attorneys must lay a medical foundation for the need to include the testimony of a vocational expert as part of the trial proceedings.   Any medical questions must be answered by a physician. The jury must know the plaintiff’s physical condition, the extent to which the injuries were caused by the incident being discussed in the trial, whether the injured person had a pre-existing medical condition, etc. which can only be answered with medical tstimony

Once a medical foundation has been established, a vocational expert can testify regarding the injured person’s future earning potential, the likelihood that the person may be able to keep or find employment in the current job market, economic trends, employment trends, and any special skills which the injured person may have lost.  In addition, in catastrophic cases a Life  Care Planner can testify as to the injured persons long term medical needs and the cost.   A vocational expert can play an important role, in documenting the injured person’s lost wages and  financial compensation based on the injury.

Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the top companies providing vocational expert and life care planning services for serious permanent injury cases 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.