Proof in brain injury cases can involve a team of expert witnesses, including . . .
A Neurologist who specializes in brain and nervous system disorders. S/he will assess the nature and extent of the brain injury.
A physiatrist who is board certified in Physical and Rehabilitation medicine. This expert will assess the medical needs and rehabilitation potential of the patient.
An Occupational therapist who will assess and deal with rehabilitating the individual.
A Physical Therapist who will focus on achieving maximum physical recovery.
Speech therapists and massage therapists may be involved, depending on the patient’s deficits.
Neuropsychologists may be involved to identify and evaluate the level of the brain injury.
A psychiatrist or psychologist will address the inevitable psychological trauma associated with the severe injury.
A Life Care Planner may be needed to assess the future medical care needs of the patient. This expert will use input from the neurologist and physiatrist, and other medical specialists, and determine what lifetime care the patient will require. This includes such things as home and work adaptive needs, attendant care, bowel-bladder care, hygiene needs, mobility needs such as lifts, wheelchair, van or other transport, medical and physical therapy needs and other associated care requirements over the remainder of the injured victim’s life.
A Vocational Rehabilitation Expert will assess the loss of earning capacity of the victim. This expert will assess what the victim could have earned before the accident and then will perform various work related tests to determine what level of earning capacity the person has, if any, since the injury. Then, the expert will do a labor market survey and calculate what this person will now be able to earn, if anything, following maximum recovery.
An Economist. S/he will do two things. First, take the Life Care Plan prepared by the life care planner and determine the present value of the future care that is needed. That means that this expert will determine the lump sum amount that must be given to the injured victim to allow him or her to pay for the future needs, taking into account that the lump sum will earn interest but that the buying power of the funds will diminish over time. The lump sum is called the “present value.” Second, s/he will do a present value calculation of the amount needed to replace the missing income stream that the vocational rehabilitation expert finds.