A economist is an expert who studies the economy and understands what happens to money over time. In many cases where a loved one was working, we can show that had they lived for the rest of their natural life, they would be expected to earn at least the same amount of money they were earning at the time of their death. An economist brings his/her expertise to the case by showing that those earnings over time, would be a significant amount of money that your family has now been deprived of. The economist can also make projections, such as bonuses, benefits, increases in salary, to show what your mom could very likely have earned if she lived a natural life. Having an economist gives the jury a handle on the type of money your family lost. Without these calculations and testimony, the jury would literally have to guess and speculate- which is simply not permitted and would not be allowed at trial. If your mom was not working, and was instead a 'stay-at-home' mom, the economist is also useful in calculating the value of her services to your dad and the rest of your family. Now that she's no longer around, you might have to hire a nanny, or house-cleaner to do some of the things that mom used to do all the time. An economist is needed to support this type of claim.