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How to Work with a Construction Expert Witness in Complex Litigation

Expert witness selection is important for cases with complex litigation. For this, it is often imperative to hire someone specialized in the field of study or subject in the courtroom, and this may provide a better chance at success when testimony assists the plaintiff in seeking compensation.

Hiring an expert witness for construction issues may be complicated when there is no reference based on the complicated lawsuit. However, when the evidence points to certain issues, this process becomes clearer, and the right specialized construction expert witness may be obtained for the case. This means that if the claim involves building codes, someone with building code experience is needed. However, if the matter includes defects, then someone that has researched and dealt with defective designs, materials or structures is needed over someone with other specialized knowledge. Working with the correct expert witness is easier than a professional with general familiarity in the subject matter.

When the lawyer does not have a specialty in construction issues, this could lead to further complications in complex litigation. However, the evidence may point
to a specific issue that permits the legal representative to hire the most qualified individual. This often means disqualifying numerous others that could provide help. In doing so, the lawyer is able to present the most relevant and reliable case to the judge or jury. This may mean hiring an architect that understands the full range of construction issues that could have caused the incident. An engineer may be better for the design or defective problems, and someone with a general knowledge is generally hired when there are multiple complications.

Construction Expert Witness Knowledge

Depending on the type of expert that is hired for the claim, the knowledge he or she possesses may be specific to the subject matter, or it may be more general with just enough experience to obtain the trust and faith of the jury or judge. If the person was or is an architect, he or she may understand structural issues, the plans and designs that could contain defects and have a vague awareness of building codes. This permits the expert to understand how an incident may have occurred, or why a defect led to the injury or death of someone within the property. This could also lead the claim to negligence for the building team or the owner if he or she knew about defective materials or designs in creating the structure.

Tradesmen often have an understanding about architectural errors or omissions that may have been part of the event. These issues usually contribute to defective problems. Some of these expert witnesses may be cheaper than a professional such as an architect, but they may have Justas much knowledge and experience. These persons often work in the field for years and have a rapport with other construction workers or companies. This could mean more contacts and communication about the situation and circumstances that led to the incident. More of these individuals may be available in most cities and states while other professionals could be harder to find.

The Construction Project

The value of each project is often determined by the quality of the design. This means if there is enough work in designing the structure, it should be free of most defects. However, this is not always possible. If one contact acquires defective materials, it may cause the entire project to become corrupted which in turn may lead to an incident where someone is either injured or killed while within the erected building. This could be a commercial property, residential or industrial. The individual harmed may be an independent contractor, someone working for the construction project, and third-party vendor or a person unconnected. When the injured patient sues for compensation, it is time to hire an expert witness to determine exactly what happened.

If an architect was responsible for a poorly designed plan, this could have led to concept control issues. This in turn would have affected how the building was constructed. However, other issues could exist such as engineering problems or an incident with the workers that could lead to further damage later. Last minute adjustments may also cause the event. However, hiring a construction expert witness is important. Working closely with open communication and going on site to view the location helps to further the relationship with the professional. This makes complex litigation less difficult to progress through, and it is easier to work with a construction expert witness.

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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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