If you have a client who suffered a severe injury, one of the primary considerations as you assess the value of their claim is whether they can return to their job. This concern may be compounded if the client has sustained damages that render them unable to work in any field. In this article, we discuss how an Employability Evaluation can be an invaluable tool when presenting a case to an insurance company or jury.
What is an Employability Evaluation?
An Employability Evaluation assesses an injured party’s ability to either resume work in their chosen career or obtain employment in another field. The assessment is conducted by a respected expert who can provide objective, quantifiable evidence of the impact of the injury on the victim’s employability.
Expert witness testimony by vocational rehabilitation consultants and employability experts is common in litigation involving loss of employability and earning capacity claims. An employability evaluation can assist the plaintiff or defense attorney in objectively documenting the victim’s damages.
What does an Employability Evaluation Consist Of?
The Evaluation consists of the following components:
1. A detailed document review, including the injured party’s education, training, employment, and medical records;
2. An analysis of the client’s work history and transferrable skills;
3. A vocational diagnostic interview with the client; and
4. Objective vocational testing
Combining these components enables an employability expert to form an opinion regarding the injured party’s current and future employability and earning capacity.
The Benefits of an Employability Evaluation
When presenting a personal injury claim, an attorney must often rely on the testimony of physicians and other medical professionals to establish their client’s damages. Even if a doctor deems a person partially or totally disabled, insurance adjustors and juries are left to determine how the disability impacts the victim economically. This can result in very subjective damages awards.
An experienced employability expert can minimize or eliminate these subjective assessments by providing objective parameters for quantifying vocational damages. Using data from local job markets and established economic indicators, the expert can provide comprehensive reports that either facilitate settlements or persuade juries of the extent of the victim’s vocational damages.
In all cases, the effective use of employability experts depends on their credibility and experience. OAS experts have extensive education and training in employability evaluations and are regularly accepted as experts in federal and state courts across multiple jurisdictions.
What Type of Cases Require an Employability Evaluation?
An employability expert can provide an invaluable expert opinion in the following cases:
An Employability Evaluation may also be helpful in a family law matter if one spouse seeks alimony and their earning capacity is not well-established. A consult with a knowledgeable employability expert can help you determine if an expert opinion would be useful to your client’s damages claim.
What type of injuries should an Employability and Earning Capacity Evaluation be performed on?
If an injury has severely impacted a person’s ability to perform their job or gain employment in another field, an Employability Evaluation can be helpful. Severe injuries often include brain bleeding and trauma, neck, and spinal cord damage, broken and fractured bones, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, burns, vision or hearing loss, and emotional or psychological harm.
Required Records for an Employability Evaluation
To fully assess an injured party’s ability to return to work, an employability expert will need to review the following records: hospital records, especially discharge summaries and operative reports; treating and/or consulting examining physician’s reports; employment records; and wage information such as Income Tax Returns, W-2 wage statements, or Social Security earnings statements.
What happens if my case is going to trial and I need an expert witness?
You can contact Occupational Assessment Services Inc for one of the leading experts in the country. An OAS expert can provide testimony as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Employability Expert. OAS experts have been accepted in numerous state and federal courts in New Jersey, New York, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, and Florida.
Our office will assist you in developing a direct examination so the damages portion of your case proceeds smoothly. At the time of testimony, the expert will be highly knowledgeable about your case and prepare customized exhibits to educate the jury regarding your client’s damages.
Consider Retaining an Employability Expert
While an employability expert’s opinion does not bind a judge or jury, it can be highly persuasive. Grounded in extensive research and precise analysis, these experts provide objective, quantifiable measures of vocational damages. Our experience shows that using employability experts in litigation results in more beneficial settlements and jury verdicts.
The Experts at OAS Can Help You Determine Your Client’s Employability
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 an expert 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.