Put simply, a construction expert witness has specialist knowledge in a particular field and uses this expertise to help a court understand the issues of a case. This insight can help to settle disputes between parties and they may be called upon during official enquiries, arbitrations and tribunals.
• Offering an initial analysis of the synthesis of a dispute
• Identifying the key issues of a case
• Providing evidence in court
• Preparing Scott Schedules
• Highlighting CPR compliant rules
It’s also important to remember that in court, an expert witness’s testimony is considered as opinion evidence, whereas the evidence presented by a layman is considered as fact. As an example, if the dispute is about the defects of a building, the layman will state the facts while the expert will provide an opinion as to what caused the defects to occur.
If a case against you is brought to a tribunal or court, a construction expert witness will help the judge or jury reach a fair decision. Their presentation of the case will ensure the jury fully understands the project and what the legal ramifications are, if any. However, a good expert witness will also be able to provide you with some independent and just advice, and you’ll be told what the main problems are. If you hire the expert witness in construction early on in the case, you may even be able to negotiate a settlement, saving yourself and the other party from having to go to court.
In the case of an accident or injury, one of the main things they will comment on is the standard of care provided. To do this they will collect information which can be used to determine who is liable for the mistake. A construction expert witness’s testimony will not be biased – their responsibility is to put forward all the facts to ensure the correct result is reached.
The court will decide whether expert advice is required. However, the party seeking to use a construction litigation expert witness will be responsible for proving the expert’s advice is needed to help the court make a decision.
If the case is about professional negligence, expert evidence is always presumed to be required. However, if mediation is being considered as a resolution, or the amount of money in the claim is nominal, an expert witness will not be appointed initially.
For more information, please contact us at G3Soilworks today. We can help you maximize the profitability and productivity of your projects in California by supporting you with our geotechnical and geological experience.
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