Using Vocational Expert Demonstrative Evidence in Personal Injury Cases

/ / Posts

In order to convey to a jury the impact that an accident has had on the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s attorney must have significant knowledge of the plaintiff both before and after the accident. This encompasses the plaintiff’s educational, vocational, familial and employment background, and the impact that the injury has had in each of these areas. When it comes time to discuss damages with the jury, nothing communicates better and is more powerful than demonstrative (visual) evidence. It is therefore important for vocational experts, to utilize demonstrative evidence in their testimony.

The most important thing about an expert’s testimony is that the examination must be understandable to the jury. It should be kept simple and as concise as possible. It should be free of technical “jargon.”  Unless an expert is able to communicate his information to inexperienced and often unsophisticated jurors, it is wasted. The many results of tests, Labor market research, and data collection that a vocational expert generally testifies about may be too complicated for the average jury. Therefore, it helps if the vocational expert makes use of demonstrative evidence to illustrate his testimony regarding vocational damages using charts, photographs, video’s, and anything else that will make the results of the injury understandable.

The plaintiff’s pain and suffering is addressed in nearly every personal injury case. This area includes mental and physical pain and suffering (present and future) as well as loss of function, humiliation and embarrassment, disfigurement, scarring, anxiety, mental distress and all other forms of distress. Generally, the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s treating doctors will be the primary source of proving the plaintiff’s pain and suffering.

However, a rehabilitation counseling expert can contribute to the damages by testifying the plaintiff’s Life Care Plan to document the cost of the plaintiff’s long term care medical needs.  Life Care Planning testimony is more persuasive when the expert uses demonstrative aids which can illustrate to the jury the impact of plaintiff’s injury or their function and the cost of their long term medical care.

Occupational Assessment Services uses demonstrative evidence in its Vocational Expert and Life Care Testimony to help judges and juries understand the scope of a plaintiff’s damages. Please contact us at 800-292-1919 to learn more about how we can help illustrate your case damages.