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Expert Witness Testimony in Interpretation of Building Code Cases

Building codes may require some interpretation for cases where someone has been injured or killed. This means an expert witness in building codes is hired usually to assist with testimony and an understanding about this bit of evidence for the claim.

Building code cases arise when there is construction that may have caused damage to a structure, injury to a person or if there is a defect that may have resulted in some type of incident. An expert that is able to interpret and understand these codes is needed for these claims so that the judge or jury are able to comprehend what certain numbers and letters mean as well as how these items may play into the incident that led to the case in the court room. The expert has experienced in these matters and may translate the codes into practical applications for real-life situations.

Many building code cases that require an expert are due to defects in construction or in a structure. These may exist because of a faulty design plan, defective materials, inferior resources and when certain products used for the property are defective. This then may lead to injury
for those within the structure or damage to the building or other erections. The codes used for these situations may require the use of an expert to interpret and explain to a judge or jury. However, this may necessitate hiring a specialized expert witness that has years of experience in building codes for the case.

Factors Involved in Building Code Cases

When construction and building cases arise, there are various persons involved in these matters. In order to ensure the right information is included, there may be one or more fact finders. This is necessary to discover if any building codes have been violated. This means that there could be a violation due to statutory violation of the codes, negligence caused by contractors or other construction workers, professionals that have committed negligent acts and design issues with persons tasked with drafting designs for the building. Each of these individuals is hired to assist in erecting a structure and ensuring there are no problems with the property. However, there could be a breakdown at any one of these steps.

In order to understand if a violation of building codes have occurred, an expert witness is usually needed so he or she is able to translate the codes and information into understandable terms. His or her testimony is used to factor in whether the violation led to injury or other problems. While not all of these cases require the need for an expert witness, many of them need someone versed in building codes so that the court is able to comprehend the issues at hand and how they affect everyone involved. The building codes of each state may have differences, but they govern the design, construction, modification and repairs or demolitions of various property.

The Building Code Expert Witness

Expert witnesses provide testimony in a courtroom, and what they have to say is usually provided more weight than other witnesses. This is because they are considered relevant to the topic, have experience or knowledge in the subject matter and are able to give reliant information based on methods that have been proven through the years. For a building code expert, this means explaining what certain aspects of the code mean, how they pertain to the case, translating the information into useful and decipherable details and showing how injuries or damage is due to a person or entity. These professionals have a way of presenting the facts to the judge or jury so that the particulars given may be comprehended without additional sources.

A building code expert witness may need to be hired by the state where the incident occurred. This is due to the alterations to these codes based on the location of the structure. Some states have different codes, and the interpretation of these may differ based on these factors. Certain characters of objects, buildings, materials and other elements may be necessary in the courtroom so they correspond to the codes that match these matters. A violation of some sort is usually at the heart of these concerns, and the expert may be hired to determine if this is the case. With his or her assistance, it may be possible to resolve the issue, compensate the injured or seek a remedy to the problem at hand for the aggrieved.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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