FAQ

What do I need to have an Employability and Earnings Capacity Evaluation done?

Hospital records especially discharged summaries and operative reports, treating and examining physicians’ reports, work records and wage information such as W-2 wage statements or Income Tax Returns. Depending on the issues of the case we may request more documents or help you get the assessments required for your client.

 

How does a Forensic Vocational Expert document my client’s loss?

The vocational expert is to be an unbiased third-party that delineates an injured persons vocational loss and medical future care cost by learning about how their injury affects them physically and their current work skills. We do this by doing several types of assessments. We will review their current medical records and if needed we talk with the individual’s doctors, allied health professionals, psychologists, and review their reports as well as learn about how the injury/illness affects them personally. We then look at a person’s education, work skills, and work history to determine how their Earning Power has been affected presently as well as in the future and offer recommendations on how to maximize the injured individuals home, community, and vocational independence or support needs in the future.

 

What type of injuries should Employability and Earnings Capacity Evaluation is performed on?

TBI, Low back injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord injuries , severe non-healing fractures, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, brain injuries, loss of vision, burns, psychiatric and psychological trauma. These injuries must have a severe impact on an individual’s ability to perform their prior work or any other type of work activities.

 

What happens when my case goes to trial and I need an expert witness?

  • Objective, defensible (Daubert & Kumho) and thorough approach with attention to detail
  • Expertise relevant to a wide variety of disabling conditions and occupations
  • Professionalism and reliability

A vocational Expert testimony as Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Loss of Employability and loss of earnings capacity issues are accepted in state and federal courts. We will assist you in developing a direct examination so that the damages part of your case can go smoothly.

ADA- Americans With Disabilities Act

SouthEast Vocational Experts are knolwedgeable  in the Americans With Disabilities Act ADA and provides any and all of the following services:

  • Essential Functions to meet ADA compliance
  • Job Analyses
  • Light duty / early return to work programs
  • Establishment of policies and procedures for ADA compliance

Vocational Expert – Forensic Vocational Rehabilitation

 A Vocational Expert performs a Vocational Assessments that are referred from plaintiff and defense attorneys, insurance companies, Companies, Cities, Counties, VA, Third Party Administrators, Self-Insured’s, and individuals.

The Vocational Expert has knowledge in all disability groups including orthopedic, neurological, traumatic head injury, developmental disability, psychiatric, emotional, and speech/language, and autism.

SouthEast Vocational Experts  accesses the latest information available, utilized by government and private sectors, as well as physical and cognitive testing, to determine an individual’s employability, earnings capactiy, and capacity to compete in today’s job market. We investigate the labor market to identify Job Openings, Employment  Opportunities and Potential Earnings  within appropriate geographical areas.

Forensic Vocational Expert and Rehabilitation Assessment

  • Medical Record Review/Chronology/Analysis re: Residual Capacity and Damages
  • Perform Referrals and Collaboration with Physicians, Psychologists, Economists, Work Capacity Evaluators, and Life Care Planners
  • Loss of Earning Capacity Analysis & Loss to Labor Market Access
  • Vocational Evaluation -Testing – IQ, Achievement, Work Samples, Interest, etc.
  • Labor Market Survey/ Labor Market Research
  • Employability, Placeability issues.
  • Retraining and Rehabilitation Plan Development, RAPEL Method
  • Coordination of Life Care Planning Services
  • Job Analysis and Reasonable Accommodation Consultation
  • Disability Management and Return to Work Consultation
  • Vocational Expert Testimony

What you can expect from our Vocational Expert Assessment:

  • Objective, defensible (Daubert & Kumho) and thorough approach with attention to detail
  • Expertise relevant to a wide variety of disabling conditions and occupations
  • Professionalism and reliability

A Vocational Expert Assessment helps you prepare and document your – Personal Injury (Economic damages)

  • Auto liability/Bodily injury/No Fault
  • General/Product Liability
  • Medical Malpractic
  • Wrongful Death (vocational and earning potential)

Divorce- Vocational Expert Assessments are becoming more popular in this venue.

  • Spousal maintenance and child support (employability, placeability, and earning capacity)
  • Retraining plans, costs, and time frames
  • Consideration of Health of spouse and/or child, childcare

File Consultation

Vocational  Assessment of files or report of another Vocational Expert can be valuable tool that attorneys can use in case preparation.

SouthEast Vocational Experts has experience in working with attorneys, paralegals, legal nurse consultants, and life care planners to assess vocational issues in cases. Vocational Expert witness services are not always needed.

MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA (MST) AND PTSD

PTSD may also result from an unwanted sexual event, which includes any form of forced sexual contact or contact that took place without the victim’s knowledge or consent. Military sexual trauma (MST) is not only a result of the event itself, but the fear of retaliation if the event is reported.

Statistics from the VA show that in 2012, 23.6% of female veterans seen for health care reported a history of MST. Men also report suffering sexual assault while in the military.

Disability compensation is available to both male and female veterans who have suffered MST or who developed PTSD as a result of MST. In these cases, the veteran must have some proof that the sexual event occurred to receive disability compensation for it. However, in recent years, the VA has created less strict evidentiary requirements and will now accept a variety of what they call “markers”, which can include various signals, occurrences, or circumstances that would indicate a traumatic event took place.


Vocational Expert in Veterans Disability & TDIU

 

Why Us for TDIU – Veterans Disability

When a Veterans Representatives & Attorneys need an objective Vocational Assessment of a claimant’s Past Relevant Work, & Current Vocational Capabilities, they turn to us for Answers.

We have been providing Forensic Vocational Expert Services and Occupational assessments for over 17 years. We have also served as an unbiased expert for the U.S. Federal Government in more than 500  cases. We have performed over 3,000 assessments and have a specializations in brain injury (TBI), and Mental Health issues.

We are one of the few Vocational Experts to have in-depth Vocational & Psychological testing experience as well as to have worked as a on contract for the Social Security Administration ODAR courts, as well as for claimants.

We choose our evaluation tests based on the individuals’ needs and do not use a cookie cutter approach. We use standardized diagnostic vocational interview, but can also test the claimant using the most modern techniques, including a computerized measurement of aptitudes and abilities. We are one of the few vocational rehabilitation companies experienced with testing the aptitudes and abilities of Spanish and non-English speaking persons.

The interview and test battery can be administered via the internet allowing claimant’s throughout the United States to obtain this valuable expert service.

We have sat in and provided Vocational Expert Witness Testimony  in over 500 Social Security Disability hearings; we know what the Administrative law Judge needs to know to make a decision.

We can provide a Vocational Evaluation (Social & Industrial Surveys) in Veteran’s Disability cases to prove Total Disability Individual Un-employability in (TDIU) Cases.

Our Specialization is  Forensic Vocational Evaluations & Vocational Analysis.  
  • We have performed thousands of Vocational Transferable Skills Analysis through the VDARE process.
  • We also can provide Intense Brief Therapy.
  • Our mission is to provide reliable, valid, and effective vocational evaluation and expert witness services.
  • We have been providing Vocational Evaluations for over 17 years and worked with a variety of clients and disabilities.
  • We invite you to consult with us on any issue relating to employment, including earning capacity, employability, job search effectiveness, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Earning capacity consulting includes the analysis of complex earning situations including entrepreneurial income and multiple source income from part-time, project and full-time employment.
  • We also offer Vocational Rehabilitation plans, Educational Plans, & Job Placement Services.
  • A vocational expert is able to determine the individual´s skills and abilities to engage in work.

Vocational Expert testimony

In the past Vocational Expert Testimony as based on Frye however that changed in 1993. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 113 S. Ct. 2786, 2795 (1993), the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Rules of Evidence superseded Frye and provided the standard for admitting expert scientific testimony. Among others, the Supreme Court referenced Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which requires scientific expert testimony to be reliable (based on scientific knowledge, methods and procedures) and relevant (testimony which will assist the Trier of Fact).

Vocational Expert

Specifically, under Daubert, a judge will consider:

A. The expert’s qualifications.
B. Reliability and scientific validity of the expert theories and methodologies. This involves modification of the Frye test of general acceptance in the scientific community to include the application of factors discussed or implied in Daubert, including, but not limited to:

1. The extent to which theories, methods and procedures used by the experts have been, or can be, tested.
2. Whether the theories, methods and procedures have been subjected to peer review or publication.
3. The potential error rate (frequency of erroneous results).
4. The existence and maintenance of Standards.
5. Whether expert theories, methods, procedures and instrumentation have been generally accepted by the relevant scientific community.

Admissibility of Vocational Expert Testimony- Daubert/ Kumho

The attorney should take steps to ensure that the vocational expert is qualified to testify and that his or her opinions are admissible. To be qualified to testify, the vocational expert should possess knowledge or experience beyond the common

knowledge of the fact-finder but need not have an academic or scientific background. Although the trial court has wide discretion to admit or exclude an expert, in some instances, the trial court’s refusal to qualify an expert has been held erroneous as a matter of law.The court may preclude testimony where the vocational expert seeks to testify outside established areas of expertise or where the substance of the expert’s testimony is a matter of dispute within the expert’s field.In Commonwealth v. Lanigan, 419 Mass. 15, 26, 641 N.E.2d 1342, 1349 (1994), the Supreme Judicial Court accepted “the basic reasoning” of the United States Supreme Court’s opinion inDaubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Both of these opinions indicate that the trial judge has a “gatekeeper” role to preclude expert testimony when “the process or theory underlying a scientific expert’s opinion lacks reliability.”Lanigan, 419 Mass. at 25-26. In federal court, this rule has not been restricted to “scientific” experts. Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, — U.S. — (1999). In determining “reliability” the court may consider whether the community of scientists in the field generally accepts the theory or practice underlying the expert’s opinion, but even if the general acceptance test is not satisfied, the opinion may be admitted if the underlying theory or practice is reliable, or if it can be or has been tested or has been subjected to peer review or publication.

A vocational expert once qualified, the court may still exclude the expert’s testimony because an improper foundation has been laid to support her testimony. The Supreme Judicial Court has refused to adopt the approach to foundation evidence suggested in proposed Mass. R. Evid. 703 that the expert be allowed to testify on the basis of those sources “reasonably relied upon by those in the field.”Instead, the court has permitted an expert “to base an opinion on facts or data not in evidence if the facts or data are independently admissible and are a permissible basis for an expert to consider in formulating an opinion.” A voir dire may be used to determine whether the underlying facts are admissible and are of the sort that experts in the field reasonably rely on in forming opinions.

Counsel should consider whether the proposed foundation evidence is properly admissible. If the vocational expert is asked

to testify on the basis of hypothetical questions, the assumption must be supported by independently admissible evidence. An adverse party should object to a hypothetical question that is based on unsupported assumptions, and should use cross-examination to question the expert as to the impact of material facts that were omitted from the hypothetical questions that were asked during direct examination.

Vocational Expert Job Search Software – Daubert-

One general expectation is that the instruments used by vocational experts to assess disabilities and predict their consequence will need to be reliable (provide consistent results) and valid (measure what it is expected to measure) and have known acceptable error estimates (accuracy of predictions).

Vocational Experts are using a lot more Job Search Software programs represent trait-factor job-person matching systems. Their main task is accomplished through the use of the specialized database management system that stores and retrieves information. Employability search inputs for specific client include past relevant work history and a Worker Qualifications Profile. Outputs typically include potential job title matches, transferable skills, expected earning capacity/wage potential and links to lists of likely employers.