As an attorney with a busy medical malpractice docket, you need assistance to ensure that you properly value your clients’ cases. That is where a good, experienced expert witness comes into play. When it comes to medical malpractice damages, you need to make sure that you properly prove all damages that your client has suffered, or will suffer in the future. One of those damage items is loss of income.
In this article, we will discuss loss of income damages, and give you a real case example of how our medical malpractice expert services resulted in a $1.8 million structured settlement for a young college student. If you have additional questions about incorporating vocational experts into your medical malpractice case after reviewing this article, we invite you to contact us at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. – OAS. We can provide life care planning for lawyers.
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.
Loss of Income Damages
Loss of income always comes into play when a defendant’s actions force a plaintiff to take time off, temporarily or permanently. Of course, at a basic level the amount of loss of income can be found by calculating the plaintiff’s hourly wages or salary, and then multiplying that number by the number of days, months, or years that the plaintiff is unable to work.
That figure will, therefore, include actual lost wages, and future lost wages. Also, a qualified expert will remember to include the value of any benefits that a plaintiff would have received, but for the medical malpractice.
Moreover, an experienced vocational expert witness will also consider loss of earning potential. Remember, that throughout life we all do not stay in the same job forever. Rather, we move up or move to a different position. An experienced expert witness will recognize that loss of earning potential is also an element of a loss of income claim. Some of the factors that go into a calculation of loss of earning potential include:
1. The plaintiff’s age and health prior to injury;
2. The plaintiff’s life expectancy; and
3. Work history, past earnings, and advancement rate within a company.
Let us discuss a case involving a college student, who had a great deal of earning potential given her age and education.
$1.8 Million Case for a Failed Spinal Surgery
A 30-year-old college student underwent surgery for treatment of a spinal herniated disc. Although preoperative CAT scans showed a left-sided herniation her surgeon operated on the right side of the spine and weakened a stabilizing joint in the spine that snapped off several days later. A second operation was performed by the same surgeon one week after the first surgery.
After the second operation, the patient began draining large amounts of fluid from the operative site, and by the time the infection was diagnosed it had spread to the spinal nerve roots. The President of Occupational Assessment Services stated that “the operating room errors left the college student with severe and debilitating post-surgical injuries that greatly altered her future earning potential due to Chronic Pain Syndrome. The end result was that she was totally disabled.”
While the surgeon contended that the patient had a central herniated disc that could have been reached from the right or left side, the defendant also contended that a post-operative infection is a risk with any surgery and that the plaintiff’s infection was treated properly.
After the court proceedings, a structured settlement was determined during jury selection. This resulted in a structured settlement awarding the patient with the total present value of $1.8 million settlement. The seven-figure settlement was reached after the college student lawyers met with Occupational Assessment Services (OAS) to determine future medical costs and loss of income associated with the surgical errors and pain she subsequently endured.
Let OAS Be the Medical Malpractice Expert for Your Case
Occupational Assessment Services specializes in assisting attorneys in life care plans and employability evaluations in medical malpractice cases to document their case damages.
Many attorneys fail to realize the importance of properly documenting damages in a case. Sometimes, all emphasis and energies are placed on the initial hurdle of liability, and the impact of the injury on the client’s ability to work and earn money is ignored. A good damages preparation may help to strengthen a case once liability has been established. To date, vocational experts have been used in a wide variety of cases. Their expertise can benefit personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, matrimonial, age discrimination, and wrongful termination cases.
The medical malpractice 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.