When Do You Need to Hire a Vocational Expert for Your Injury Case?
Being injured in an accident can be a highly stressful and emotional experience. Besides living in severe pain, worrying about how you will pay for the exorbitant amount of medical bills, and trying to get the necessary time off work, you may also be concerned about proving your case in court against the party who injured you.
One way to help bolster the credibility and validity of your claims and the details of your case, especially in instances where your injury has negatively impacted your ability to work, is to hire a vocational expert. While hiring this type of expert to testify may not always be necessary in every injury case, it could be just the thing you need to tip the scales in your favor.
What is a vocational expert?
A vocational expert is an objective and impartial professional who has specific knowledge and unique qualifications to assess the limitations an injury may have placed upon the injured party to do his or her job effectively, to what degree, and for how long this limitation may last. Whether these limitations may be physical, psychological, or emotional, they, in one way or another, place a restriction which causes the injured party to be unable to effectively perform his or her job functions as they once did for a period of time or perhaps permanently.
For example, a vocational expert would be able to estimate twenty percent loss of functionality of the right arm due to the injury sustained and would then be able to testify as to how that function loss may affect the ability to adequately perform job responsibilities or return to the workplace at all.
What can a vocational expert do for me?
A vocational expert may be able to help you secure an increased monetary award as a result of your case than you would have without their testimony. While a medical professional would be able to testify as to your exact injuries and an economist would be able to testify as to projected loss of future monetary income due to a particular injury or disability, a vocational expert will be able to testify as to both the extent of your injury and how that injury may affect your job prospects both now and in the future. She or he will go into detail to explain how your injury has limited you in your ability to perform your job responsibilities and how long those limitations may last.
This type of expert may also be able to assist you and your legal team to calculate the costs of medical bills and your lost earning capacity, both present and future. As a specialist in both medical costs and the job market and economy, this expert will be able to speak to your future as an employed person with an injury, which may or may not be considered a disability. This will help your attorney better understand what a fair request for your monetary award in your case may be, as well as to help show the court what a fair compensation to you would be based on the details of your case.
When is a vocational expert necessary in a personal injury case?
If you have filed a personal injury claim, you may be wondering under what circumstances you should hire a vocational expert. While it is always helpful to have as much evidence and testimony as possible, there are a few specific instances in which a vocational expert may be especially valuable. For example, if there is not enough evidence or the right type of evidence to prove that your injuries are inhibiting you from performing your job responsibilities or returning to the workplace at all, hiring a vocational expert may help prove that. It may also be helpful to hire an expert if the evidence and testimony of your case is complex and needs further explanation or a professional to interpret the information in a way the court can better understand.
The ultimate goal in hiring a vocational expert is to prove that your claims regarding your injuries and ability to work are true and accurate, so this may also be beneficial if there is any ambiguity within the facts of your case.
Where do I find a vocational expert?
If your attorney has a recommendation of a vocational expert, it may be in your best interest to use that expert. An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney should have extensive experience dealing with one or more vocational experts in your area.
The insight and testimony of a vocational expert can be crucial to explaining to a judge or jury how your injuries will affect your work life. Whether your case is lacking the necessary evidence, the details of your case and injury are more complicated and requires extra explanation, or you just want to ensure you have provided the court with everything they need to lean in your favor, working with a vocational expert may be just what you need.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person, the skilled and experienced team of personal injury attorneys at Silverthorne Attorneys. No matter where you live or where you were injured, if you have suffered due to an accident, you need a reputable personal injury attorney. If you are unable to make it to our office, there is no need to worry because one of our qualified injury attorneys will come directly to you. Call us today at (949) 234-6034 to schedule a consultation.