Case Study: How a Vocational Expert’s Work Resulted in a $6.5 Million Personal Injury Settlement

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Vocational expert

Are you an attorney who handles car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or any other personal injury matters in which your clients suffer catastrophic and life-altering injuries?  If so, then you should be aware that the value of your case is greatly enhanced when you have persuasive, powerful evidence of damages.  Simply stated, if you can prove the different types of, and the extent of, the injuries your client has suffered, then you have a greater chance of getting more compensation for your client.  

Now, in a busy practice, it is sometimes difficult to pin down all of the injuries and sources of damages for every one of your cases.  When you are in that situation, getting an assist from an expert who (i) understands personal injury damages and (ii) has expertise in the many losses that are related to a serious personal injury, is invaluable.  That expert is called a vocational expert, and if you have never used one in your personal injury cases, then consider reaching out to a vocational expert today.

In this article, we are going to discuss a case study – a case handled by our own experts at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) – in which the vocational expert’s research in the case resulted in a $6.5 million settlement.   

If, after reading this article, you have additional questions about how a vocational expert or life care planner can help with your personal injury cases, we invite you to contact us at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. – OAS.  We have served as life care planners and vocational experts in many different types of cases. 

We are one of the most experienced employability and life care planning firms in the United States.  To discuss your case, call us at 1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.

Case Study:  The Trucker and an Unstable Truck Bed

A few years ago, in Houston TX, a man working for a company that delivered heavy metal pipe for an industrial metal company was asked to pick up a number of industry pipes for a job.  The heavy pipes were packed onto a flatbed truck that had side rails to keep the pipes from falling off of the truck.  The driver did not own the flatbed truck.  Rather, the flatbed was owned by the delivery company, which was responsible for the truck’s upkeep and maintenance.  

On the day that the driver was to deliver the pipes, as he was walking around the truck, disaster struck.  The side rails that were supposed to keep the pipes stable and on the flatbed gave way and rolled onto the driver.  The injuries the driver suffered were life-altering.  The driver’s legs and his right foot were crushed by the heavy industrial pipes.  Suffice it to say, the injuries the driver suffered were serious and disabling.  In fact, the driver eventually had to endure amputation of his right leg below the knee due to the way the accident impacted his legs.  

The driver’s attorney sought damages from both the delivery company that owned the truck and the industry metal pipe company that loaded the flatbed.  The key to the case was maximizing compensation for the driver, who was now disabled and unable to do the job he had been doing for years. 

How a Vocational Expert’s Assessment Brought Significant Value to the Case

The driver’s attorney knew that the claims of negligence and negligence per se were strong against the defendants in the driver’s case.  Her goal was to quantify the driver’s damages persuasively and in a way that would get the biggest recovery for her client.  Fortunately, she reached out to the vocational experts at OAS.

The vocational expert in the case conducted a thorough review of the driver and his background.  That thorough and objective assessment included the drivers:

1. Medical records, past and current
2. Job history
3. Educational background
4. Earning capacity
5. Future long-term medical needs

Indeed, the vocational expert was careful to ensure that every aspect – from medical care to day-to-day routine tasks – of the driver’s life was taken into account.  The expert’s goal was to objectively point to those matters that required compensation given the driver’s serious injuries.  

In addition to looking at the whole person to make sure that damages were properly quantified, the vocational expert’s assessment included a review of the job market in the Houston, TX region to determine whether there were any jobs for which the driver was eligible given his disabilities.

End Result:  A Multimillion-Dollar Outcome

The vocational expert’s input and the report became pivotal in getting the defendants in the case to come to the negotiating table and reach an agreement that would fairly compensate the driver for all of his injuries.  When all was said and done, the driver obtained a $6.5 million settlement from the defendants for his injuries, thanks in large part to the participation of the vocational expert from OAS in his case.  

Let the Experts at OAS Provide the Information You Need to Get Appropriate Compensation for Your Personal Injury Clients

The experts at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) have over forty years of experience documenting the income potential and employment capacity of those with wrongful termination cases, as well as with the underemployed, unemployed, and disabled individuals in many types of cases.

OAS specializes in working with the plaintiff or defense attorney to assist in objectively documenting the economics in a case.  From the initial referral to the trial testimony, OAS works with the retaining attorney so that the vocational assessment of the case can be objectively and efficiently presented. 

OAS has served as experts on many multi-million-dollar outcomes including a record-setting $102 million verdict in a NY catastrophic injury case. Through objective consulting, analysis, and vocational testing, we specialize in assisting attorneys in documenting damages.

We strongly believe in the importance of a clear and understandable presentation of the facts.  OAS is the leading provider of Vocational Expert and Life Care Planning Services for Plaintiff and Defense attorneys. 

We also specialize in evaluating earning capacity in divorce cases and documenting the damages in cases where an individual has been severely injured. We provide objective findings on how the injuries affect a persons’ ability to work and earn money, as well as the cost of care required in catastrophic injuries.

OAS is your Vocational Expert & Life Care Planner Nationwide, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California.  

To discuss your case, call us at 1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.