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Expert Witnesses

Utilities Expert Witness after Accidents Caused by Buried Power Lines


When there are various issues on the road that require additional explanation or a clearing up of confusion, it is important to hire an expert witness. When the case material involves buried power lines, a utilities expert is generally the professional that is able to discuss and detail what happened and why awarding damages is important.

Buried Power Lines

There are several types of accidents that may occur from power lines buried in the road or in ditches. A person may trip over the power line and suffer an electric shock. Others may run over the line and cause property damage to cars. Some buried power lines could affect other electronics or cause serious physical injury or even death from electrocution. It often requires a utilities expert to explain why the power lines are in the ground and how the injuries occur that require compensation. It the matter involves property damage, the expert may also need to reconstruct the incident for better clarity with the judge or jury.

Engineering and Causes of Fire

Electrical engineering is one aspect that a utilities expert witness may have as a field of study or expertise in his or her background. These matters and fires often run together. The way the company buried the power lines or how they sank underground from storms could explain certain causes of fires in the area. The damage from fires may lead to the possible claim against a utility company for negligence or not warning residence in the location. The expert witness that understands the placement may either need to explain why the lines are in that specific area or how the company failed to properly bury the lines to prevent further damage.

There are other areas that may cover causes of fire and engineering issues with buried power lines. The expert may have a background in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA or understand the origin of fires. Ground and buried power lines could cause a fire at the point of intersection or when other products and items touch an exposed line. The construction industry may have caused issues at the site to harm a person and incite an accident. With a driver, pedestrian or personal property harmed in the process, the company may face a possible lawsuit.

Electrical Systems

There are certain standards and guidelines necessary when using power lines in certain areas. Many rules regard the type of power line and the materials to create it. If the company used inferior materials and resources, the power line could erode while under the ground. Additional complications arise when the electric system is near water or some wires cut through the tubing. If the power lines are from a nearly electrical power plant, this matter may involve employees or the company itself. The utilities expert witness may need to investigate the matter further and test the power lines involved in the case.

Safety and Prevention

Some utilities expert witnesses are necessary to explain the safety and prevention that are important around and due to buried power lines. The possible accidents may include car crashes, trips and falls, electric shocks that may burn the skin or erode nerve endings and internal damage. Fires are often possible from exposed wires or where the power lines break and touch other items. Some fires may cause extensive damage to forested areas or where dry leaves reside. The expert may explain how safety is important and where the company went wrong in preventing the possible complications with a buried power line.

If a company did not intend for the power lines to bury under the ground, the expert may help the courtroom understand what rules the organization did not follow to prevent this action from occurring. Safety and design analysis of electrical systems may also give added knowledge and awareness of the injuries and complications from the buried power lines.

Testimony of a Utilities Expert Witness

Based on the specific background of the expert, he or she may provide testimony about various aspects of the types of accidents or the injuries that happen from the incident. The professional may focus on only one or two accident cases or include the numerous possible types of damage caused by buried power lines. When an accident caused a certain injury, the expert may detail how compensation is necessary for recovery and calculate the amount needed. Other experts may give factual accounts of the incident through reconstruction.


Provided by HG.org

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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