OAS Group - May 2020

Client Progress HowWill You Determine Your Loss of Earnings? Our clients and their families are the strongest people in the world for what they have to go through. They handle their accidents with such grace, and their perseverance is something to marvel at. Because of this, we like to showcase the progress our clients have made in their situations and look at what they had to push through to make that progress. One family we worked with had an infant who was born prematurely, which led to permanent brain damage due to surgery. The child was born in April 2012 and, three months later, returned to the hospital for an emergency hernia procedure. Just a week after that, the baby’s parents brought her in again for a reoccurring bulge. At this point, the baby was intubated and underwent emergency surgery once more. During the procedure, the child sustained a brain injury, resulting in chronic static encephalopathy. This led to the girl experiencing motor control issues, seizures, vision problems, and difficulty learning. The lawyers found that the baby had been improperly intubated, and the hospital staff hadn’t monitored her breathing or oxygen levels. During the case, the family’s representatives had to establish the child’s lost future earnings, which can be difficult to determine due to the child’s age. However, a vocational expert can determine a child’s potential lost earnings by utilizing labor market data. This information can help piece together how much financing will be needed for the

child to live comfortably. The team representing the family then worked with OAS to create a cost-of-life care and rehab plan.

With the help of Occupational Assessment Services, the family was able to reach a settlement of $6.5 million. Now, the child is 7 years old and receives therapy from her school district. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your own case, reach out anytime at 800-292-1919 to talk with an experienced life care planner.

How OAS’s Vocational Experts Can Help Define Alimony

A vocational expert will also conduct a local labor market survey of the jobs available in the spouse’s area to determine how much those jobs pay. Salaries for these jobs are then compared to the average earnings in their community. All of this information assists in establishing a spouse’s earning capacity, which impacts the amount of alimony set. If you have any questions or concerns about your separation, reach out any time at 800-292-1919 to talk with an experienced employability expert.

A divorce can be challenging to navigate, especially when determining alimony. According to Corporate Finance Institute, there are four main factors to consider. First, there’s the potential future income of each spouse. Second, the couple's standard of living during the marriage must be factored in. Third, there’s the length of the marriage. Fourth is the age of each spouse at the time of divorce. There are many other factors in addition to these that might come into play, so it’s easy to see why alimony is always negotiated. Luckily, an employment expert, also known as a vocational expert, can help clarify these factors for alimony decisions. Vocational experts are increasingly being consulted in divorce cases. When you're going through a separation, a vocational expert can be one of the most valuable investments you make because they can determine the earning capacity of both parties involved and help increase or decrease alimony payments. In some cases, a spouse may try to argue that they need alimony payments because they don’t have a high enough earning capacity. A vocational expert can evaluate the spouse in question to determine their actual earning capacity. During this evaluation, the expert will address the spouse’s work experience, level of education, and any medical limitations. Additionally, the expert can administer vocational aptitude tests to assess the spouse’s skills. The expert then evaluates the transferability of these skills. Basically, a vocational expert will grade your spouse’s skill level, which can make a big difference in ensuring your alimony is fair.



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