Experiencing a personal injury is always difficult, and may even result in tremendous changes in the injured person’s life, including his or her ability to keep working. If an older person is injured, that may add some additional concerns. Older people are less likely to keep working for an extended period as compared with younger people, and issues such as retirement and ongoing medical care may need to be considered if an older injured person tries to secure a compensatory award in court.
A legal construct is known as “work-life expectancy” becomes an issue in such cases. Work-life expectancy is often calculated by the LPE Method. “LPE” is an acronym for “Life, Participation, Employment.” According to an article by T.R. Ireland in the professional journal The Rehabilitation Professional, the LPE Method breaks down as follows:
- (L) refers to “the probability that an average individual within a particular demographic category will be alive during a given year in the future. “
- (P) refers to “the probability, given that the individual is alive, an average individual within a demographic category will be a participant in the labor market during any given year in the future.”
- (E) refers to the probability that an average individual within a demographic category who is both alive and a labor market participant will be employed in the labor market during any given year in the future.”
These three factors are multiplied together, and the result is considered to indicate an older injured person’s “work-life probability.” For example, using the LPE Method, the work-life probability for a sixty-year-old male with a bachelor’s degree and no disability is approximately is 7.1 years.
A vocational expert can provide a great deal of assistance in determining work-life expectancy for older injured workers, especially because older workers have different considerations than younger workers. Older single persons, self-employed workers, and persons with special circumstances require a vocational expert to render an opinion as to their individual specialized work-life expectancy in each case.
While a younger worker may be relatively able to go back to school or undergo additional training after an injury, and the older workers may not be able to do either of these things easily. A vocational expert can testify to this in court and can provide vocational data to help a judge come to a fair conclusion regarding compensation for an injured older worker by establishing the injured persons’ work-life expectancy.
Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the foremost companies providing vocational expert and life care planning services for the seriously injured person in the United States. We have over 40 years of experience in performing employability evaluation and life care plans for plaintiffs and defendants. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help with your case.