Vocational testing is a tool used by vocational experts to evaluate a plaintiff’s employability. In a personal injury case, a portion of a plaintiff’s claimed damages will be based on evidence that the plaintiff cannot go back to the same type of work they had before they were injured, or cannot return to that work without some job modifications. This amounts to lost wages, which a plaintiff will try and have compensated in a monetary damages award. A vocational expert will perform a vocational evaluation to help support such claims, a process that is compiled of several steps.
Vocational testing is performed after the vocational expert’s review of medical, school, and work records, interviewing and testing the plaintiff, reviewing deposition transcripts and videos, and completing a transferable skills analysis. A vocational expert will review medical records to learn of any information pertaining to the plaintiff’s injury, whether they are medical, psychiatric, or psychological. The expert will look for any restrictions and opinions regarding the plaintiff’s ability to work. He will review school and work records to gather information about the plaintiff’s employment skills and education. This information can be used to consider past, present, and future employment opportunities as well as pre and post-injury earning capacity. Tests given to the plaintiff are standardized, and the test selection depends on the plaintiff’s past education and work experience and will help assess the plaintiff’s future employment performance potential.
Vocational testing is a process consisting of considering various documents and properly employing standardized testing, but it also requires the vocational expert to applying conceptual models of socioeconomic achievement to the information they have gathered. The expert also considers predictive data that can enhance the accuracy of the conclusion he will ultimately reach regarding the plaintiff’s ability to work in the future. Vocational testing can be performed on injured adults as well as children.
Occupational Assessment Services has been performing vocational evaluations for over forty years. This has allowed us to have extensive experience in evaluating the employability and earning capacity of injured persons in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida areas. Please contact us at 800-292-1919 to learn more about vocational evaluations.