If you have been injured in an auto accident, medical malpractice, or any other type of situation involving the negligence of others, it’s possible that you may be unable to return to your previous type of employment. In some cases, the injury can cause only a temporary disability from work that will heal with treatment and time. In other cases, the injury may permanently deprive you of the ability to return to your job in the same capacity or, perhaps, at all. In either case, you are entitled to receive compensation from the party at-fault for your lost wages and your loss of earning capacity.
When you file a personal injury claim, lost wages or lost earning capacity in the future often can make up a significant portion of the value of the claim. Due to this, the opposing side is likely to try to minimize the extent of your injuries or claim that you can still do your job. As such, it is crucial to prove to the opposing side and/or the court that your injuries are preventing you from returning to your previous job or work in the same capacity you did before the negligent act caused you to be injured. This is where working with a vocational expert can become an essential part of your legal strategy.
Role of Vocational Experts and Vocational Rehabilitation
A vocational expert is a trained counselor who may also be certified by the American Board of Vocational Experts to evaluate an individual’s fitness for specific jobs. They serve as expert witnesses during personal injury cases to provide additional evidence and documentation that you are unable to perform the requirements of your previous job and ascertain what work you may be able to do with your current injuries.
To develop their opinions, a vocational expert will start by completing a comprehensive assessment of the injured person. This includes reviewing your education, work history, interests, skills and abilities, and medical background. They will then conduct a battery of tests to evaluate your mental and physical abilities in performing various job-related tasks. After that, they analyze the local job market to determine a match between your vocational skills and abilities and current hiring trends. Based on all of this data, the vocational expert will make a determination as to which jobs would be suitable for you and the resulting financial impact comparing your earning potential at your new career path options compared to your previous occupation. Their recommendation may also include training for you, called vocational rehabilitation, that will help you become more employable in a new career path.
The vocational expert’s analysis will be used as evidence in your personal injury case to prove these damages. In the event your case goes to trial, the expert may testify as an expert witness about your occupational skillset and wage-earning capacity and losses.
Cutler Rader has extensive experience partnering with renowned vocational experts and securing significant settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact us today to discuss how a vocational expert can help strengthen your personal injury case.
Cutler Rader, P.L.
With over 75 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Cutler Rader understand the meaning of Justice. Our one and only mission is to get each client the justice he or she deserves; our team of attorneys never back down when we know our client is right.
We offer our clients the compassion and guidance they need as they work through trying times in their lives. The balance of working relentlessly for our clients combined with our caring approach has helped us achieve a fantastic record of success with our clients. We get our clients the justice they deserve.
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