The Role of the Vocational Expert in Personal Injury Litigation

Bennett, Carol and Barbara A. Dunlap. 2006. “The Role of the Vocational Expert in Personal Injury Litigation.”  The Earnings Analyst  8: 39-48.


Economists and/or Vocational Experts are often asked by attorneys to perform projections which substantiate an injured person’s losses or damages in personal injury lawsuits or other legal claims in various jurisdictions and courts. In today’s tort sensitive public arena, juries may be either conservative or liberal in monetary awards for pain and suffering. Both plaintiff and defense attorneys are interested in fact-based, objective opinions on actual damages which an individual has incurred such as loss of earning capacity, vocational options, and/or whether one can work at all in light of functional capacities and physical or mental limitations. A qualified Vocational Expert is the key in cases involving adults with total disability, permanent partial disability, and even with childhood injuries resulting in permanent physical and/or mental disabilities. This article discusses the role of the Vocational Expert (VE), when to use a VE, and factors to consider in selecting a VE.


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