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Business 101: Why Insurers Use Vocational Experts

Business 101: Why Insurers Use Vocational Experts

Is your company facing a workers’ compensation or disability claim? If so, a vocational expert can help you reach a reasonable settlement with the employee making a claim.

Insurers often hire vocational experts to assist with conducting a vocational assessment and understanding all the case facts. So, it’s a good idea for your business to understand why.

Keep reading to learn more about working with a vocational expert.

What Do Vocational Experts Do?

Vocational experts give an independent assessment of whether someone’s physical condition prohibits them from earning a living. They analyze whether injured workers suffered a partial or total disability and how this affects their future employment potential.

To do this, first, they need to conduct a vocational assessment. This assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s work profile. It includes:

  • Background
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Training
  • Occupational requirements
  • Interests
  • Work styles
  • Personality

The vocational assessment will also include an overview of employee disabilities or health conditions and cognitive abilities.

After the vocational assessment is complete, the vocational expert will need to examine objective evidence in the case provided by:

  • Physicians
  • Insurance companies
  • Insurance employers
  • Medical records

This will help the vocational expert conclude a fair way to settle the workers’ compensation or disability claim.

Not just anyone can be a vocational expert. They need substantial credentials to back up their opinions in court, so you will likely need to hire a vocational expert outside of your in-house staff if you don’t already retain one.

The Importance of a Vocational Expert Testimony

Judges, juries, and insurance companies hold vocational expert opinions in high regard. So when their testimony goes to court, it’s a substantial piece of evidence, whether for or against your business.

Insurance companies hire vocational experts to substantiate the claims made by the employer. Insurers don’t want to pay out more money and benefits than they need to in a lawsuit.

This is good for your business. It could lessen your responsibility for the matter at hand.

However, an employee can also hire a vocational expert of their own. Since disputes run through the court system, injured employees may try everything to substantiate their own claims.

Should an employee hire their own vocational expert, it’s even more important your business and insurer have one too.

The experts will each testify in the case. If your employee has a vocational expert and your business doesn’t, the court may find you more liable to the employee’s claims.

When each party has an expert on its side, they will battle out in court before agreeing to a settlement.

Your business’s vocational expert will explain why the worker can return to work, even if in a limited capacity. The employee’s vocational expert will explain why the worker is entitled to worker compensation or disability benefits.

They will use a vocational assessment and evidence from the incident to determine the case’s outcome.

Protect Your Business and Hire a Vocational Expert Today

If your business is facing a disability or workers’ compensation claim, make sure to have a vocational expert on your side.

To speak with our vocational experts, contact us at Solutions Northwest, Inc. Our experts are knowledgeable about ADA accommodation issues, disability and injury management, and workers’ compensation. We are happy to assist you!

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Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773

Seattle, WA


Olympia, WA


Portland/Salem, OR


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