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  • Sep 2016: Evaluating personal injury cases in Canada? The new book by Christopher Bruce,Ph.D., ASSESSMENT OF PERSONAL INJURY DAMAGES, 5TH EDITION, may be just the thing. Click here to see a synopsis of the book or to purchase it.
  • Jun 2016: Click here for the latest forecast by the Federal Reserve System about the state of the American economy. Actual projections of expected economic indicators such as inflation rate, changes in GDP and others, can be found in this Consensus Forecast from different economic organizations.
  • May 2016: Are Americans better off. Here's a historical perspective NY Times article
  • Mar 2016: Florida Outpaces U.S. in Income Growth with pay increases in the Construction and Health Care industries leading the way. For more on this read the Tampa Bay Times article
  • Feb 2016: The 2016 Economic Report of the President is a source of extensive economic data. For individual charts in PDF or Excel format, click here. The report has several chapters on current economic policy which are political in nature and do not necessarily represent the opinion of this office.
  • Sep 2015: A recent NY Times article brings the debate about the number of deaths due to nox emissions to the front line. Go directly to the NY Times article to read the full story.
  • May 2015: Although there are different views on why there was a GDP slump in first quarter, both sides have no explanation for the continued GDP weakness in the second quarter. For more on this, read the full NY Times article, Deuling Views on the First-Quarter Slump
  • May 2015: According to a NY Times article, it now looks as if the economy shrank in the first quarter. For more on this read the NY Times article
  • Mar 2015: With total health care spending in the US approaching 20% of GNP there is increasing concern with wasted spending. Such spending is thought to be 5% of GNP. Discharge for rehabilitation to skilled nursing facilities seems to account for a portion of this (as well as leading to higher mortality rates). For more on this see, "Uncovering Waste in US Healthcare".
 


Dr. Mellish is a specialist in the valuation of loss due to business damages, wrongful termination, personal injury and death. He has been qualified as an expert witness in the majority of the Circuit Courts in Florida and many Federal Courts in various states including FL, GA, AL, NY, TX, CA, US Virgin Islands, and others.

This office has a reputation for providing expert witness consultation at the highest standards. We assist attorneys in identifying areas of damages as well as calculating the present value of future losses including lost wages, benefits, the value of household services, the amount necessary to provide medical care in the future, hedonic damages (value of the loss of enjoyment of lifestyle issues) as well as punitive damages in cases that warrant it. In worker’s compensation cases, our reports are often made a part of the fee petition package. We have designed a computer-assisted format for presenting the results of our analysis in the worker’s compensation cases. We have also developed a computer-assisted format for calculating the present value of future medical care items required in a life care plan for catastrophic injury cases. These computer assisted formats allows us to keep billing to a minimum by reducing the amount of professional time needed. Please refer to our Services page for a detailed list of services provided.


What does it take to evaluate economic damages?

Quite often attorneys call us to quickly estimate the level of economic damages in an injury or death case. When the attorney can give us a short description of the nature of the injury, we can typically identify the probable damage elements:

  • Loss of income or support
  • Loss of value of services
  • Probable future medical expenses

We can usually provide an estimate in a 5 to 15 minute phone call. We do not charge for such brief consultations. By contrast, a written report requires documentation for underlying data. That is what takes the most time – and is billable.

Business damages cases are different from personal injury cases when it comes to quick estimates. That said, we can usually describe the type of underlying data that will be needed to estimate business damages in a 5 to 15 minute consultation.


Why are interest rates so low?

Market interest rates are low because “real” rates of return on capital are low. Ben Bernanke, former head of the Federal Reserve System explains this in a recent article where he says real rates are low in a slow growing or recessionary economy since “investment opportunities are limited and relatively unprofitable”. The link to the full article is found here.

According to an article by Larry Froeb with Managerial Econ posted on 2/21/2016, real interest rates have fallen 4.5% since 1985. Real interest rates can be understood as the "price" of savings. Today more people want to save which causes an increase in supply and there are fewer investors willing to invest which creates a decrease in demand. Since there is more supply than demand, the result is a lower "price" of saving (or interest rate). For the full article, click here.

How does this affect the present value of future economic loses? When the interest rate or discount rate is low, the present failure of future economic losses will be higher. However, the other element in the present value calculation is the growth rate in wages, or in future medical expenses. When interest rates are low, these other two elements of the present value calculations will also be low. Therefore, the present value will not be substantially different than in a period of high interest rates.

For some guidance on what we can expect on interest rates in the next year, check out the recent New York Times interview with John Williams, an official with the federal reserve system. The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco explains under what conditions he will vote to raise interesst rates. Bottom line is that when the inflation rate approaches 2% and the unemployment rates gets to full employment (approximately 5.2%) we can expect interest rates to go up. If you want to discuss this in greater detail, please give me a call.


On the lighter side, check out some humorous Videos from an economic standpoint on our

Humor & Interest Page

You can also find interesting links to information such as the current gas prices and what makes up the gas price as well as Tax Facts 2016 and proposed tax policies for 2017 on our Humor & Interest Page.

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