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How an Expert Witness Evaluates Economic Damages

When an expert witness or professional is needed to evaluate economic damages, he or she has experience through several years in business valuation, assessments of markets and economic analysis that is needed for various reasons.

Collecting and analyzing economic data is performed with regularity so that he or she may provide feedback, comprehension of the technical information and in applying the knowledge to damages necessary for cases where someone was harmed through criminal activity. This professional often has managerial and analytical experience with various companies so that he or she may apply the methods garnered through work and business to legal assistance as an expert witness.

Knowledge as a consulting professional, an expert witness in economic damages is able to assess litigation concerns through a variety of manners. This means he or she understands that a duty was owed to the affected plaintiff that this duty was breached and the cause that lead to the damages was the breach in the duty owed. This may be observed through sifting through technical data provided
in documentation, business methods or financial data that may require additional acquisitioning through a lawyer. Economic damages may be quantified and the value usually does not change. This means the jury or judge may evaluate these as well as grasp the loss the victim suffered through the incident.

Economic Damages Possible

Many damages that one suffers economically could include medical bills of the past, present and future if the injury was to financial information such as a social security number or bank accounts. Someone may experience economic negative impacts by lost income and if rehabilitation from injury requires a new vocation. Property damages, other out-of-pocket costs and the loss of property could cause someone to suffer through economic damage. If the incident that occurred injured the person, medical expenses could incur surgical and treatment bills or the need for therapy that could be ongoing or demand future sessions. The court looks at all these factors and determines what an overall judgment for awards should be based on the bills, expenses and costs someone suffers economically and what may be applied reasonably to the situation. This may require an explanation of how these damages affect the individual and how he or she may need additional assistance in the future.

If future medical or therapy expenses may be incurred, these are permitted, but they must be sufficiently proven that further care is needed because of the accident or injury. The assistance of an expert witness’ testimony is usually needed to corroborate this through a treating physician or economic professional. Additionally, the capacity to earn income may have been damaged through the incident. This means the event caused an impairment that diminishes the ability to earn gainful employment or income. An expert witness is usually required for this type of issue as well by considering and explaining how the age, health, expectancy of lifespan, talents and skills, past capacity to earn income and training in various jobs all assist in determining if there is a capacity of earning income lost. This may be observed through a surgeon losing his or her hands. He or she is no longer capable of earning income in the same field.

Collateral Source Rule

Recovery of economic damages is usually affected by certain rules and stipulations. Usually medical expenses are covered through insurance policies. The collateral source rule prevents the defendant from being able to show the jury or judge that the plaintiff has received compensation from other sources by some means. One reason is because insurance agencies often place a lien on the payouts provided to the plaintiff so they may collect a portion of the awarded amount from the defending party in a successful suit. This rule has been modified in some states regarding certain cases, but it is in effect to protect the plaintiff from loss of compensation because of other sources of payment. Some cases of medical malpractice and personal injury may have alterations of this rule that apply to insurance agencies.

Expert Witness Testimony in Economic Damages

The loss of income, compensation and financial losses all affect a person after an incident. With the assistance of a lawyer, it is possible to seek compensation. However, it is with the use of an expert witness that chances of success increase greatly. These professionals understand how economic damages affect an individual, and they are capable of detailing these consequences to a jury or judge so that they comprehend why recovery is essential.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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