Hiring an Expert in Construction Defects to Evaluate a Construction Site Injury

While there are many laws in place in the United States that ensure workers’ safety on construction sites, accidents nonetheless occur. If the accident was the result of a construction defect, the injured worker can pursue a legal claim for damages. Should this occur, a construction expert in this matter will be the most integral witness in your case.

Construction defects can encompass anything relating to the operation of a construction site, such as:

  • Negligent workmanship
  • Faulty materials
  • Erroneous design

Construction Expert Witness

Construction claims and disputes can have serious and costly repercussions. Fortunately, many qualified experts are available to provide opinions and conduct investigations on cases of this nature. Examining the quality and design of projects is part of the daily work of architects and engineers, which makes them excellent expert witnesses.

Experts in construction defect-related injuries are instrumental in determining professional liability in two forms:

A lack of adherence to the contract is cause for litigation, especially if this breach leads to significant injury. Similarly, certain conditions are not outlined in contracts—and are not legally required to be—due to the implied duty of contractors to adhere to standards in safety and integrity. If such violations of implied duty occur, then liability may also be found.
Some construction defects were not caused by the defendant, and may have arisen out of negligence in another area. For example, the architect may have designed the building properly, but the beams that were purchased for the foundation were not produced according to the relevant standard. As such, a construction expert would be able to determine who is at fault, and where exactly the injury may have come from, since it is not always obvious.

Construction Defect attorneys

Construction Defect Litigation

Construction defect expert witnesses can provide assistance with proving the above elements in a case in three main ways:

Site Investigations and Evidence Collection

Standardized methodologies are available for on-site evidence gathering that include detailed photography, video recording, and note-taking. Experts are required to perform these inspections through visual and physical means in order to investigate the true source of the defect and to determine whether the defect was patent or latent.

Review and Analysis

Multiple analyses can be conducted in order to ascertain the safety of the construction site. An expert in this field would be able to audit construction drawings, inspect contractor agreements and superintendent logs, survey adherence to building codes, and verify material specifications. If testing was performed on-site, they are also able to provide an experienced interpretation of the results and to determine whether they impact the case.

Recommended Repairs and Associated Damages

Just as an appraiser can determine the value of a stolen good, a qualified construction defect expert can also estimate the cost of repair and future damages caused by the defect. They can look into the scope of the defect and how it alters the integrity of the entire project and, subsequently, how this affects the safety of the personnel within it.

Working with Construction Experts

Overall it is important to remember that not all of the work of an expert witness in construction defects is done in the courtroom—in fact, most is not. The majority of expert witnesses’ time and energy goes into verification, evidence gathering, reviews, and reporting—all of which would be difficult if not impossible to complete without a construction defect expert.