The Importance of a Vocational Expert in Calculating Loss of Earning Capacity

/ / Posts
vocational expert in calculating loss of earning capacity

If you have been injured in an accident, then you will likely have some idea about what you are able to do – and not do – after that accident. Perhaps you played tennis before the accident, and now you know that the injury to your arm is so severe that you never can enjoy tennis again.

Perhaps you had a very physical job that required you to do a lot of lifting, or a lot of driving.  Now, after the accident, you know that your back injuries will make it difficult for you to do that job because you cannot lift objects of a certain weight, or you cannot drive for long periods of time without causing more pain to your back.  

All of those possibilities are easy to talk about but think about trying to prove those damages in a court of law. Indeed, a personal injury lawsuit will require that you quantify your damages in some way.  It might be easy to state that you can’t drive for your job like you used to do, or you can’t play tennis anymore – but what are those losses worth?  That becomes a question that you need an expert to answer.

In this article, we are going to talk about the way in which you can put an accurate dollar value on your long-term injuries after an accident.  Accordingly, we will be talking about a loss of earning capacity vocational expert.  

If, after reading this article, you have additional questions about using a loss of earning capacity vocational expert in your personal injury case, 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.

Economists vs. Vocational Experts

At first blush, you might be under the impression that you can get an economist to do the calculations needed, and testify as to the value of your injuries in court. However, you should know that economists are not the correct experts to use for such valuations.  While an economist might take your pre-injury income, and make an estimate about what your post-injury income would have been. Yet, a vocational expert in your personal injury case can do so much more.

You see, a loss of earning capacity vocational expert conducts what is called a “vocational assessment.”  Thus, unlike an economist who is left to only using numbers about your income, a vocational expert has the training and resources to evaluate you, understand what your work limitations now are following a serious injury, and analyze the kinds of jobs available in the marketplace that you are now able to do based on your injuries.  

In fact, a vocational expert would be much more accurate and thorough in putting a valuation on your damages based on an injury.  A vocational expert would be able to come to a damages number based on an assessment of “pre-injury earning capacity” and “post-injury earning capacity.”

The Facts About Earning Capacity

The concept of earning capacity is not simply a look at your current income.  It actually requires a review of all many factors in your life, including your education, your physical and mental abilities, your work experience, your natural skills, and the job market in the region in which your life.  

We know that we do not always have a job that incorporates all of our strengths.   With a vocational expert, he or she can make a solid assessment of your earning capacity after taking a look at all of those factors in your life.  A vocational expert will then make the same assessments when looking at your abilities and skills after an accident to determine your post-injury earning capacity.  

Thus, a vocational expert has the ability to take a holistic view of your life, strengths, and weaknesses, and reliably testify in court as to his or her conclusions about what your post-injury earning capacity is compared to your earning capacity before that accident.  The vocational expert’s conclusion is, of course, the result of a review of your medical records, a consultation with your physicians, an analysis of the kinds of accommodations that are available to see what jobs you can do post-injury, and vocational tests to measure your interests and abilities.  

In sum, a lot of information goes into an earning capacity assessment that can be used in your court case.  A vocational expert is the best way to understand and present that earning capacity in your case, to maximize the damages you should receive.

Use a Loss of Earning Capacity Expert in Your Personal Injury Case

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 spouses 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. 

The company specializes in assisting attorneys in evaluating earning capacity in divorce cases and documenting the damages in cases where an individual has been severely injured by providing 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.  

Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. is 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.