Vocational Experts (VEs) are often needed in a variety of cases. In cases involving a severe physical injury, a vocational expert may be necessary to determine the types of work in which an injured person may engage. If the person can no longer engage in the type of work previously undertaken, and instead can only engage in the types of work that offer lower pay, an earnings loss calculation may be necessary.
Additionally, divorce and cases involving spousal support can also require the experience and testimony of a vocational expert. These matters often concern matters such as a spouse’s qualifications to re-enter the workforce and related job prospects, and, in some cases, whether a spouse may even have the capability to re-enter the workforce due to lack of marketable skills or physical disability.
The Elements and Aspects Typically Considered by Vocational Experts
Vocational experts have expertise in identifying a person’s work ability and earning capacity. When a person has a work history, the vocational expert can use the person’s past work experience as a means to gauge future work and earnings.
When a person does not have a work history (such as a child or student who has not established themselves vocationally) a VE may use the person’s educational background and/or intellectual functioning to give parameters as to what future work the person could have done if the person’s work potential was not interrupted by their impairment, catastrophic injury or untimely death.
Determining Job Availability
Determining a person’s vocational ability is only one task for a vocational expert. A related and critical aspect is analyzing the job market and prospects for a person once a vocational ability assessment has been made. For example, it does not matter if a person is highly competent in an area if there are no job opportunities for that area.
Vocational experts often assist legal counsel by providing a comprehensive analysis of the job market in a specified geographic area based upon the vocational assessment, gender, education, age, and other factors of an individual. Frequently, in preparing a vocational assessment, local and national data bases are used, as well as a variety of governmental and non-governmental resources, such as labor force surveys, and information from The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Following this research, a vocational expert can then provide an analysis and considered opinion regarding the vocational outlook for an individual based upon this information, which can include a comparison, in the case of an injury, between the expected earnings prior to the injury and the expected earnings following the injury.
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Dr. Manges’ Vocational Expert Services
The opinion of a leading expert is often critical to the outcome of a case. Dr. Manges is able to provide professional and comprehensive vocational opinions at the request of attorneys. He is also available to testify at trial concerning the opinions being made, and to explain the facts and analysis upon which the opinion is based. Please contact our offices today to discuss the needs of your case.