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Use of Proxies


Loss of earning capacity is easily conceptualized as the difference between earnings before and after a given incident.  But what if there is no existing earnings stream to gauge the pre- or post-incident earnings?  Or, what if there are earnings, but they do not reasonably reflect the person's true capacity?  For example, how would one measure the pre- or post-injury earning capacity of a 5-year-old child who loses the use of a dominant arm?  Or, consider an iron worker who was well established in his career before a disabling injury but has yet to find a job that accommodates his disability.

For these and many other circumstances, Vocational Economics employs the latest research and government databases to measure the earnings the plaintiff could reasonably expect.  These estimates are referred to as "proxies" in that they are substitutes for actual earnings.  Whether derived from an overall average for a given level of education (commonly used for children) or from an average of a specific profession, these proxies provide a scientifically sound basis for projecting lifetime earnings.

 

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