What is a Vocational Expert?

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In most lawsuits, attorneys use expert witness testimony to help support their client’s claims. Various expert witnesses are used to helping prove vocational damages. If liability is found, a case moves on to a phase where damages are assessed. This damages assessment will determine the monetary award a plaintiff can expect at the conclusion of the case. Attorneys use expert witness testimony to help prove damages as well. There are three types of experts who are primarily used to prove damages: medical experts, vocational experts, and economists. A medical expert, generally a physician, usually testifies in regard to the medical evidence relating to the plaintiff’s injury. An economist’s testimony generally pertains to economic reports and statistics that project the plaintiff’s future damages. So who is the vocational expert, and how does he factor in?

A vocational expert is an expert on all things related to employment. This includes vocational rehabilitation, earning capacity, lost earnings, cost of replacement labor, and lost time in performing household services. Their job is to know everything about a particular employment market, whether that is pertaining to a specific geographic area or a certain field of work, and apply that to an individual’s personal chances of finding comparable employment to what they had prior to their injury.

Vocational experts engage in intensive fact-gathering pertaining to the plaintiff. That includes conducting vocational tests on the plaintiff. They learn the individual’s abilities, interests, education, experience, and other qualifications. Then they combine all of this information with the plaintiff’s experience, personal knowledge, and Labor market research to determine that individual’s current and future earning capacity. The point of their testimony is to make it clear to a judge and jury how much an individual has lost in earning potential because of their injury. Without this information, a judge or jury may not have all the facts that help determine accurate damages.

The vocational experts at Occupational Assessment Services have over forty years of experience studying employment markets and conducting vocational evaluations. We have worked on cases in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida areas. Call us at 800-292-1919 for more information and to see how we can help with your case.