In this issue of The Expert Witness, we present two articles:
The cost of hiring individuals to perform household services such as housecleaning, snow removal, and handyman repairs can amount to a significant percentage of the damages in a personal injury or fatal accident claim. Yet, despite the importance of these costs, reliable estimates of the components of a household services claim are very difficult to obtain. To assist the court in this respect, Economica has conducted several surveys of household services costs since 1997. In this issue of the Expert Witness, Christopher Bruce and Jody Prevost report the findings of the 2018 version of this survey.
Vocational psychologists often recommend that injured plaintiffs retrain for a new occupation. An important question that arises in this situation is whether a plaintiff who is, say, 40 years old will start the new occupation at an “entry-level” income (say, that of a 25-year-old) or at the income of a 40-year-old. As the latter typically earn ten to twenty thousand dollars per year more than the former, the answer to this question can have a significant effect on the calculation of the plaintiff’s losses. Fortunately, several empirical studies that provide information concerning this issue have been published in economics journals recently. Derek Aldridge and Christopher Bruce summarise the results of these studies, to help both vocational experts, who may not be familiar with the economics literature, and economists, who may have been asked to calculate a loss in a case in which no vocational expert has provided a relevant opinion.