Earning Capacity Evaluation (ECE) is an evaluation of the plaintiff’s ability to work and earn wages prior to and following the event that is the subject of the litigation. The keyword here is ability. Performed in a manner consistent with the widely used, peer-reviewed, and published RAPEL methodology and at the time applying other peer-reviewed, published methodologies, an earning capacity evaluation provides information regarding the plaintiff’s lost wages and diminished (or lost) future earning capacity arising from the injuries sustained in the event that is the subject of the litigation.
A plaintiff’s wage earning history may or may not be presumptive of their earning capacity prior to the event that is the subject of the litigation. The vocational experts at Vocational Diagnostics, Inc. provide an individual-specific analysis to provide an objective evaluation of a plaintiff’s ability to work and earn wages. A vocational expert is also used in Labor / Employment and Family Law / Domestic Relations, where the earning capacity of a spouse may be at issue.
An ECE can also be done in a wrongful death case. While many attorneys believe that a forensic economist is the only expert who is capable of doing such an analysis, that is incorrect; since an earnings history alone may not always be presumptive of earning capacity, it often falls to the vocational rehabilitation expert to first evaluate the earning capacity of a decedent prior to the forensic economist’s involvement in the case.
Employer sampling* is the latest term of art for what was formerly known as the “Labor Market Survey.” Employer sampling represents a standardized form of research in which specific employers are contacted to obtain information related to the case being evaluated. Such research is intended to complement labor market research obtained through review of empirical data, formal wage surveys conducted by the federal and state government, and other research regarding labor market trends, earnings, and hiring practices.
We utilize the most current computer applications and technology, along with expert experience, to provide the most effective analysis of a subject’s vocational rehabilitation potential.
*Employer sampling is not required in all cases.
An ECE can be beneficial anytime a plaintiff claims a permanent physical or mental injury that could affect their ability to work.
Any claim for lost wages and the presence of a medical or psychological condition that could affect the plaintiff’s functional ability to work means that an ECE will probably be necessary.