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.