The Importance of an Economist in a Personal Injury Case

economist expertThe issue of economic loss in a personal injury case — medical bills, lost wages, lost benefits, etc. — is the most important piece in determining the value of a case. For a victim that’s been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, recovering financially is crucial.

By hiring a personal injury lawyer, a victim can expect their attorney to begin building the strongest case possible. Hiring expert witnesses to bolster the case is a key part of the process. In some cases, an economist may be hired to work on your claim.

An economist uses their professional experience to provide an economic analysis and expert witness testimony with regards to the economic damages associated with a personal injury or wrongful death case. While not necessary in every case, economists are often helpful when long-term future losses are involved.

What an Economist Can do for a Case

Economists have special training that helps them explain the full scope of a victim’s economic losses. They apply statistics and formulas to medical bills and lost wages, illustrating the economic impact the accident will have in the future.

An economist contributes to the case in the following ways:

  • Identify what losses are recoverable: A plaintiff in a personal injury case is entitled to recover monetary losses caused by the injury. If a victim misses three days from work because of an accident, the economist losses are straightforward to calculate. But in cases with long-term treatment and extended periods of missed work, an economist can help determine exactly how much a victim lost.
  • Help in discovery: An economist may consult during discovery to help paint a full picture of the economic losses a victim suffered. An economist will look at earnings records, tax records, retirement benefits, etc.
  • Eliminate calculation errors: When presenting economic damages in a case, the amounts must be exact and backed by data. Insurance companies and courts will not accept a victim's own account of their lost dollars. Presenting an accurate and reasonable claim for economic damages is key.
  • Calculate reductions and deductions: Projecting future economic losses can be complex and is often best left to an economist. Reductions and deductions are often made to settlement amounts for a variety of factors.

Of course, not every case needs an economist. A car accident case with high damages may need someone with an economist’s skills, while a nursing home lawsuit does not. When you are considering whether an economist should testify, it is important to consider the potential value that they can bring to your case.

Consult with your attorney to determine whether an economist is necessary for your case. 

Secure Your Legal Rights Today

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Washington state accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Victims that hire an attorney can focus on their healing while the attorneys handle the complex and stressful legal side of things. 

For a free case evaluation with an attorney at Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S., call (206) 727-4000 today. You can also fill out the confidential form on this page or use the chat feature below to get started.

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Chris Davis
Award-winning personal injury attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, Washington.