There are a fair number of legal cases in this country which revolve around some aspect of the construction industry, and it happens very often that expert testimony is needed to clarify important aspects of cases like this. When that happens, it becomes necessary to seek the testimony of an expert construction witness who can provide insights into the issue at hand, and who can make those points clear to the jury, so the point can be understood clearly.
There are a number of professional construction witnesses in the country who frequently lend their services to cases being litigated, and have a fair amount of experience testifying as an expert.
What is an Expert Witness?
An expert construction witness is someone who has a vast knowledge, as well as considerable expertise in the area of the construction industry. In many cases, these individuals have worked for years in the industry, or they may still be active as construction contractors. They will be familiar with industry standards, processes, technical language, and many of the most complex issues faced by professionals who are in construction.
They also need to be aware of all the latest trends and technologies, as well as all the building materials that might come into play. With new building methods and technologies emerging all the time, it's essential that a construction expert stay informed of all these current developments, so their knowledge remains current.
There are many different kinds of litigation which occur that touch on the construction industry, and some of them call for specialized knowledge about a specific aspect of construction. This might be with regard to contracting, real estate development, electricians, compliance issues, safety managers, demolition processes, health and safety, quality control, or possibly OSHA standards.
In order for a construction expert to be qualified to testify in any of these special areas, they would obviously need to have considerable background and specialized information about these areas. It's entirely possible that a construction expert witness might be called upon to provide their special knowledge about other aspects of the industry, including work zone safety, accident investigation, construction management, price discrepancies, quality issues, structural engineering, building code compliance, construction defects, design evaluation, governmental regulations, infrastructure projects, forensic investigations, design evaluations, standards of care, toxic mold, and possibly cost estimates.
The 9 Most Important Questions to Ask
What Makes You Qualified to Be an Expert Construction Witness?
This question will lead the construction witness to present his qualifications to the jury, so that it becomes clear that he/she is well-qualified to have an opinion which carries weight regarding the issue at hand.
What Other Kinds of Experience Have You Had That Would Call Upon Your Expertise to Deliver an Opinion Valued by Others?
A question like this will make it clear to the jury that the expert witness has had other opportunities to deliver an opinion which has been deemed valuable by other individuals. If your expert witness were offering an opinion for the very first time, that might carry less weight than it would if someone was frequently called upon for their expert opinion.
Do You Typically Work With Other Experts?
By asking this question, you should get a response from the expert construction witness that shows they are well respected within the construction community, and that their testimony will be reliable and credible.
Have You Ever Testified for or Against the Opposing Party Before?
If a construction witness has testified on behalf of or in opposition to the opposing party in this case, it would indicate prior association, which might tend to invalidate their testimony.
How Much Litigation Work do You Typically get Involved in?
The point of this question is to show how extensively the expert witness participates in court cases such as the present one. Relatively few cases would mean that they don't do it for a living, while much more frequent participation might indicate that it's a big part of their income.
Are You Familiar With the Construction Witness Being Called by Our Opponent?
A question like this may detract from the opposition party's witness, or it may validate their testimony as coming from someone who has wide respect in the construction industry.
Is There Anything You Need in Order to Proceed With Your Testimony?
This will lead the way to introducing any particular evidence which may be of value to the case prepared by the lawyer.
Have You Ever Been Prevented From Testifying Before?
The point of this question is to establish that this construction witness is in good standing with the court and with the construction industry in general. Since no one has ever attempted to block the testimony of the witness, he/she can be considered to be in good standing with everyone involved in the case.
Are You the Best Expert Witness for This Particular Case?
Even though a modest answer may be given in response to this question, it's still worth asking because it may demonstrate to the jury that there is no one better qualified than the witness to offer testimony about this particular case.
Preparing to Work With a Construction Expert Witness
It would be hard to overestimate the value that expert construction witness can deliver in a case being litigated. Sometimes, it can actually win the case because it can strengthen the case so significantly that there is very little argument possible by the opponent. It's very hard to dispute the qualifications of someone deemed to be an expert in any given field, so the testimony they provide carries a great deal of weight.
Contact us at your earliest opportunity if you should find yourself in need of a construction expert witness to bolster your efforts at litigation. Some of the best experts in the industry are on our staff, and you will have access to them by calling and consulting with us.
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