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Evaluation Request

The expert will answer such questions as:

  • Can the individual go back to his/her prior work?
  • Can the client perform the full range of this work?
  • Has the injury affected the client’s ability to avail themselves of overtime opportunities?
  • If the client cannot return to his/her pre-injury occupation, can the skills previously learned or education obtained be transferred to other types of jobs requiring less physical capabilities?
  • If there are no transferable skills, what unskilled work can be performed, and at what exertion level?
  • How much do the jobs the client can perform pay?
  • Is there any work that the client can perform given his/her physical and/or psychological limitations?

 
 

The last component of the house to be added is the roof. This is built by the economist who extrapolates the information provided by the vocational expert and projects the wage data. This will provide the future loss of earning capacity which becomes the “bottom line” figure.

This method of “building” the damages part of the case is extremely effective as each expert is supported by the other, and it thus solidifies and moves the case presentation along in court. If each attorney attempts to shortcut the three-part damage process, leaving out one of the three experts, a loophole is provided for the other side’s scrutiny.

The techniques used by a vocational expert in Workers’ Compensation, wrongful termination, and divorce cases do not differ from those encountered in personal injury cases. The types of disabilities evaluated in these cases can range from a severely fractured wrist to a torn medial meniscus, to a herniated cervical or lumbar disc, to a spinal cord injury. Emotional or psychological disabilities are also prevalent. Due to the range of disabilities and their varying affects on earning capacity, it is prudent to retain a vocational expert to assess employability and earning capacity.

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