- Vocational Loss
Loss of Earning Capacity
Loss of earning capacity is the difference between the wages an individual could earn prior to an injury event and the wages the individual can reasonably earn after the injury. The dollar amount and loss over the course of the individual’s worklife is critical to understanding vocational damages in litigation.
(Preinjury Capacity – Postinjury Capacity) x Remaining Worklife = Damages
A reasonable loss of earning capacity number requires reliable and objective vocational expert methodology. The process involves multiple steps to understanding the vocational significance of:
ꟷActivities of Daily Living
ꟷEducation/Ability to Learn
ꟷLabor Market Access
ꟷWage Rate Data
◦ Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals
◦ Social Security Administration Office of Adjudication and Review
DT North, MSOD, CDMS, ABVE-D:
Vocational Consultant/Rehab Counselor
Mr. North is the President and Vocational Rehabilitation Manager at ACT. He is a Forensic Vocational Evaluator and board certified Vocational Expert with 16 years experience providing vocational rehabilitation services for self-insured employers, state fund employers and litigated injury cases. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from The Evergreen State College. He obtained his Master of Science degree in organizational development from Central Washington University. He has taught graduate level courses industrial/organization psychology. He is currently adjunct faculty at The Evergreen State College where he teaches on disability and work. He is active nationally in his profession serving on the Certification for Disability Management Specialist Commission as past chair of the test development committee and current chair of the test development committee for the American Board of Vocational Experts.
Jeff Cockrum, JD, MA, CRC, CDMS:
Vocational Consultant/Rehab Counselor
Mr. Cockrum has over 13 years of experience developing job analyses in the worker’s compensation industry. He has developed job analyses on-site in such diversified locations as an ice cream factory, a bandage warehouse specializing in chemicals derived from crustaceans, and local retail establishments. Mr. Cockrum is also a Licensed Attorney, which allows for a heightened understanding of employment law and collective bargaining agreements. Finally, Mr. Cockrum has a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from George Washington University. George Washington University is the 7th ranked graduate program in the nation for rehabilitation counseling. Mr. Cockrum’s graduate training included job analysis development and labor market analysis.
Lloyd Tommila, MS, CDMS:
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor/Mediator
Lloyd joined Achieve Consulting Team in October of 2013 as a Vocational Intern and became a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in March of 2014. He is a graduate of Portland State University, with a Master of Science in Conflict Resolution. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University and studied Sociology, with an emphasis on workplace and organizations. Lloyd’s education has emphasized cultural competency and social inequality, and he is keenly sensitive to clients in this regard. Lloyd has a well rounded work experience including non-profit, public and private sector, and ten years working in the construction trades. This makes Lloyd particularly adept at completing job analyses and labor market research. He is also relatable and insightful when interacting with injured workers.Lloyd received advanced training in conflict analysis, mediation and negotiation while completing his graduate studies. Lloyd has facilitated hundreds of mediations, including: workplace, marriage dissolutions, associations, neighbors, victim/offender, multi-party, small claims, and between state agencies and their service clients. Lloyd has served as a Senior Mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County since 2005. In addition to delivering professional mediation services, Lloyd has experience with conflict resolution training, group facilitation, community dialogue events and process improvement.