What is a Vocational and Rehabilitation Expert?
Vocational and rehabilitation experts provide expert testimony in civil cases, including those dealing with personal injury, long term and short term disability, workers compensation and even child support and alimony. As established authorities on vocational rehabilitation, earning capacity, lost earnings and more, experts are able to testify to someone’s earning potential before and after an injury, mental breakdown or divorce. Their testimonies are vital for determining the economic damages of an incident.
Vocational and rehabilitation experts are designated by attorneys, courts, private individuals and public agencies to provide information that can assess economic loss due to a disability or divorce. Because injured individuals may no longer be able to perform as well at work, an expert can determine the difference in earning potential before and after the injury, as well as the costs of rehabilitation. Divorce cases can be similarly assessed to help determine alimony and child support. Experts can also provide neutral testimony in Social Security disability cases to determine an individual’s ability to work based on current limitations, age, education and past work experience.
The qualifications for an expert to testify in court are fairly strict and usually require possession of a graduate degree in counseling or psychology, as well as certification or licensure. Ultimately, the Rules of Evidence in the jurisdiction presiding over the case determine qualification, but in general, a witness qualifies as an expert if their knowledge, skills, experience, training or education can help the court understand the evidence presented or determine an issue.