Loss of Household Services in Personal Injury Cases
Even if you have never heard the term “household services,” you are very likely familiar with what they are. Household services refer to the everyday tasks that most of us do around our homes: cooking, cleaning, ironing, laundry, taking out the trash, lawn maintenance, and landscaping are just some examples of household services.
In some cases, after an injury, injured persons lose the ability to perform household services, and this can lead to big problems. Imagine if you couldn’t take out the trash anymore, or couldn’t wash your own dishes or clothes due to an injury. It wouldn’t take long for your home to become a bit of a “disaster area.” Child care is also considered a household service. What if you could no longer pick up your children, or help them get dressed for school because you are hurt?
If an injured person cannot perform household services for him- or herself, the injured person may have to hire someone to perform these tasks either on a temporary or perhaps even a permanent basis, especially if the injured person lives alone.
When a person is injured and goes on to seek compensation for any disabilities caused by the injuries, it may be easy to overlook the need for ongoing household services as part of the personal injury case. But household services should definitely be considered and included in a personal injury case, and a vocational expert can help by offering testimony as to the value of household services over time. In addition to a vocational expert, the testimony of a medical expert and a forensic economist can help documents the damages in a personal injury case. For example, a medical expert can testify as to the extent of the injuries and how the injured person’s limitations will negatively affect their ability to perform household tasks.
A vocational expert can then testify to the fact that various household services are jobs and work tasks the plaintiff can no longer perform due to their permanent injuries. Using the Dollar Value of the Day, based on U.S. Government Census Data, the Vocational Expert and quantify the percentage and resultant lost hours of household services the Plaintiff cannot perform due to their permanent injuries.
Finally, a forensic economist can testify to the economic value of household services in the marketplace.
The collective testimony of these three expert witnesses can help a jury determine the total loss of household services which should be compensated and should be awarded in light of an injured person’s need for help with day-to-day household services.
Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the top companies providing vocational expert and life care planning services for serious injured persons both for the Plaintiff and Defendants. We have extensive experience in documenting the loss of household services in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help with your case.