How do Vocational Experts Work with Economic Analysts?

Forensic vocational assessments often require collaboration between vocational experts, forensic economists or forensic accountants.  As the economic expert’s opinions largely rely on the vocational opinions generated by the vocational expert, it is crucial that both professionals recognize the interdependence of their work products in litigated cases.  The following are examples of economic and vocational experts interface:

The vocational expert provides:

  • Opinions regarding suitable post-injury jobs based on the medical, demographic, and test data that shape the worker’s vocational profile;

  • Pre and Post injury earnings associated with suitable occupations as a basis for future earning capacity of the worker;

  • A detailed estimate of a person’s future medical needs through life expectancy when presenting a life care plan or medical cost analysis.

The economist provides:

  • A base estimate of pre and post wage-earning capacity;

  • Inflation of the real value of money over time and appropriate discount to present value;

  • Valuation of economic loss related to earning capacity;

  • Inflation indices for medical care, treatment, supplies and services for life care planning;

  • Valuation of the cost of medical care over lifetime;

  • Life Expectancy (based on published data);

  • Value of fringe benefits, per diem, expenses, and travel.

Economists and vocational experts work in tandem to develop an estimate of economic loss based on generally accepted foundational methods.

To ensure an efficient and accurate analysis of economic damages and values of future medical care, always discuss your expectations with both your economic and vocational experts. Additionally, it is often advisable to encourage direct communication between experts to ensure that all relevant referral questions are answered as completely as possible.
We offer complimentary consultations concerning "hypothetical matters." 

To strategize with one of our vocational or life care plan experts at Stokes & Associates, Inc. please call David Barrett at 504-454-5009, visit our website, or email

Larry S. Stokes, Ph.D.
Aaron Wolfson, Ph.D.
Lacy Sapp, MHS, CRC, LPC, LRC, CLCP 
Todd Capielano, M.Ed., LRC, CRC, LPC, CLCP