Proving Damages Using a Vocational Expert
Vocational experts are often used in personal injury, worker’s compensation, divorce, age discrimination, and wrongful termination cases. In such cases an attorney is usually focused on proving liability, so a vocational expert comes in handy to assess the other critical part of the case: damages. By using personal expertise and Labor market evidence, a vocational expert can testify and explain how a permanent injury affects an individual’s ability to work and earn money. This is shown through accurate, objective supporting data to help establish vocational damages.
A vocational expert is a Rehabilitation Counseling professional who has experience in placing disabled individuals in jobs and has a comprehensive knowledge of the current local labor market. His expertise in the areas of rehabilitation, employability, and earning capacity, allows him to support and enhance testimony of medical and economic experts, and to educate the jury about how the injury affects the client’s employability and earning capacity.
To assess damages, one of the things a vocational expert does is perform an extensive vocational evaluation. This measures the effect of the client’s injuries on his ability to work. A vocational evaluation consists of:
– a review of medical records;
– an interview with the client;
– vocational testing; and
– an assessment as to the client’s employability.
The vocational expert will also consider the injured client’s ability to perform his prior work or any other type of work. The results of the vocational evaluation will document the client’s ability to return to his pre-accident job, perform the full duties of the pre-accident job, or whether he or she could perform any other type of work. The result will then allow the expert to quantify the client’s lost earnings and lost earning potential, which will be part of the damages award.
Occupational Assessment Services has been helping attorneys determine the worth of their cases, moving cases toward a settlement, and providing evidence for trial for over forty years. Call us at 800-292-1919 to see how we can assist you is assessing and proving damages in your personal injury case.