Sexual Assault & Abuse Economic Expert
We provide financial expert witness testimony and damage calculations in sexual assault and abuse cases.
According to a study completed by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of women and one-quarter of men in the United States will experience sexual assault, while one in four women and one in nine men experience severe physical abuse inflicted by an intimate partner. These incidents often result in both physical and psychological trauma for which the claimant has the right to seek compensation. These cases involve complex calculations that often require the services of economic experts such as The Knowles Group. We provide financial expert damage calculations in sexual assault and abuses cases for plaintiffs and defendants alike.
Determining Compensation After Being Sexually Assaulted or Abused
Various economic and non-economic damages must be determined to calculate the compensation owed to a plaintiff after suffering sexual assault or physical abuse. As forensic economists, we calculate the values of these damages with the aid and expertise of life care planners, vocational experts, forensic psychologists, and other professionals capable of providing pertinent non-economic damage evaluations. Additionally, in some cases, the claimant has the right to pursue punitive damages from defending parties.
Types of Cases We Work on
At The Knowles Group, our expert damage calculation and expert witness testimony services are available for many types of sexual assault and abuse cases. Sexual assault cases we’re available to assist with include:
- Non-consensual Assault
- Sexual Harassment
- Child Sexual Assault
- Elderly Sexual Assault
- Workplace Sexual Assault
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Child Abuse
- Domestic Abuse
- Elderly Abuse
We also provide expert witness services for child abuse cases involving sexual assault, abuse, and neglect.
Damages in Sexual Assault Cases
The damages caused by sexual assault, both economic and non-economic, are significant. In the U.S. alone, the population financial cost of rape is nearly $3.1 trillion, with an additional $9.3 billion for male and female victims of fatal and non-fatal child sexual abuse. Economic damages include medical expenses, mental health expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and more. Non-economic damages are those damages that do not directly correlate with a dollar figure yet nonetheless warrant compensation. These include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, reputational damage, loss of consortium, humiliation, and other categories. Finally, punitive damages may apply depending on the nature of the case. However, as forensic economists, we cannot opine on the dollar figure of punitive damages.
Future Loss of Compensation
The impairments caused by sexual assault and abuse lead to future losses of compensation (earnings and fringe benefits such as a pension) if the plaintiff is unemployable, their work life is truncated or if their performance suffers due to the event. We analyze details such as education, employment history and career trajectory before the incident and compare that information to the current reality. When determining future loss of earnings, we collaborate with life care planners and vocational experts to assess a claimant’s ability to recover and function in the labor force.
Damages for having to leave the workforce
Damages are likewise incurred when a plaintiff cannot reenter the workforce after suffering an assault. While this can stem from physical injuries, it is more frequently due to the infliction of mental/psychological injuries. A follow-up of the previously mentioned CDC study determined that victims lost a lifetime total of 741 million productive days due to sexual and physical abuse.
Loss of Fringe Benefits After Sexual Violence
When a claimant leaves the workforce, whether temporarily or permanently, they lose their regular wages plus the supplemental benefits offered by their employer. These supplements, such as health insurance, pension contributions, a company car, and more, are fringe benefits. Once lost, these benefits must be paid out of pocket and become a financial burden that didn’t exist before the event. A plaintiff has the right to demand reimbursement for these lost benefits or out-of-pocket expenses by including them in settlement calculations.
Loss of Earnings Capacity
Loss of earning capacity refers to the potential income a plaintiff could have earned had they not been assaulted. For example, in a study of female college students who experienced sexual assault, nearly a quarter of the women did not complete their degree due to the event. These women did not complete their college degrees, which contributes to a loss of earning capacity. When determining loss of earning capacity, we evaluate the claimant’s earning capacity before the event compared to their earning capacity due to the incident by considering elements such as their level of education attainment and employment history. Additionally, we work with qualified experts to determine the change in work-life expectancy caused by an assault and many additional variables to create accurate calculations.
Valuing Damages from PTSD and Psychological Issues
While sexual assault and physical abuse can be physically damaging, the experience often takes a much larger toll on the claimant’s mental wellbeing. Victims of sexual assault and abuse often develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety, and other psychological trauma, which can affect them for the rest of their lives. When valuing the damages caused by these psychological impairments, we work with a psychological forensic who will evaluate the plaintiff for PTSD, depression, and other complications. Their expert opinion and testimony play a significant role in determining the extent of the psychological damage caused by the event.
Does your abuse case need a forensic economist?
Expert Witness Services for Sexual Abuse Cases
In addition to our expert damage calculations, The Knowles Group is available to provide our expert witness testimony services for sexual assault and abuse cases. Our extensive experience allows us to present complex economic research and statistical analysis in terms easily understood by the non-economic community, such as judges, attorneys, and jury members. In doing so, we ensure that our testimony has the maximum positive impact possible on our clients and the outcome of their case. Call us today to begin your case consultation.
Sexual Assault & Abuse Cases We’ve Worked On
Loss of earnings, fringe benefits and future care services as a result of sexual assault
My analysis included a loss of earnings, fringe benefits, work-life expectancy and future care services. I estimated the plaintiff's earnings capacity upon graduating with a bachelor's degree from the age earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and compared that to her actual earnings and assumed truncated work-life expectancy from the plaintiff's independent medical evaluation. Two distinct loss scenarios were presented based on probable reductions in the plaintiff's active work duration as a result of the assault. My analysis also included calculating the accompanying loss of fringe benefits (both health insurance and pension contributions) and the present value of recommended life care services over the course of the plaintiff's life expectancy.
Loss of employment and earnings capacity as a result of an Assault
My damage analysis considered the inability of the plaintiff to return to the job of origin as a result of the incident. Damage components of loss included a past wage loss, the present value of lost future earnings capacity (supported by job of origin and age earnings data by education) offset by mitigating employment with significant limitations due to the assault. I estimated the plaintiff's statistical work-life expectancy, the present value of future life care services for the plaintiff and the truncated active work duration due to PTSD and other mental/emotional impairments as a result of the assault. Future life care services are presented by a certified life care planner and require calculations based on estimated costs, frequency and duration.