Construction Expert Witness: A Litigation Guide
A construction expert has extensive expertise and knowledge in the construction industry. This includes all aspects of construction injury and construction accidents. Their testimony helps inform the trier of fact on issues related to construction law such as building delays, construction defects, construction costs, codes, and compliance. In such instances, experts debate factors such as the construction contracts, bonds and insurance, financing, building process, construction management, government permits, licensing, land use and zoning, mechanic’s liens and regulatory compliance. The building process involves everything from attaining building permits, disputing title claims, negotiating a contract and bidding on a real estate development project. Construction experts explain terms and industry standards to the trier of fact.
Looking for a Construction Expert Witness?
A legal claim arising out of a construction project may involve property law, contract law and tort law. For example, litigation may be based on breach of contract, which includes disputes over the performance of a contract or the cost of works, wrongful death arising from an accident on a construction site, or an appeal against a refusal to grant a building permit. Such disputes require the scientific testimony of a construction expert to inform the decision-makers in the case.
Who Is Competent to Testify as a Construction Expert Witness?
A construction expert is a person with extensive experience and knowledge about the construction sector. They can discuss and describe complex issues, technical language and industry standards to the trier of fact. They need to be well informed and familiar with the methodologies, materials used and processes in the case at hand. This is particularly important as new processes and technologies are constantly being implemented and improved.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may also be essential to hire a specialist with expertise in a particular field. Certain experts are licensed and certified in OSHA standards, construction management, EPA rules and construction health and safety. Construction experts include compliance experts, safety managers, real estate developers and contractors.
Testimony Provided by a Construction Expert Witness
Expert testimony can be very effective in strengthening a legal argument, persuading the trier of fact and ultimately winning a case.
Standard of Care
When a legal dispute centers on assigning responsibility for an accident or mistake, a construction expert testifies on the standard of care. The expert may opine on both the implicit and explicit warranties and duties of a project plan and construction contract. For example, a construction contract calling for the building of a 20-unit condominium, the contract may explicitly warrant the funding for the project. It may also implicitly warrant the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the design specifications and plans. A construction expert can also discuss standard industry warranties, such as the quality, appropriateness and completion of the construction project, good workmanship and attainment of all proper and necessary licenses. In disputes over such matters, experts provide testimony opining on whether a party in question met the level of responsibility associated with their job description and duties.
Unfair Trade Practices
The testimony of a construction expert may establish a claim for unfair trade practices. An unfair trade practice amounts to an abuse of power that is unethical, substantially injurious to the consumer, oppressive, or immoral. To succeed in such a claim, the claimant must prove:
- an unfair or deceptive act or practice, or an unfair method of competition
- in or affecting commerce
- which is the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury
If you are looking for a construction expert witness, we suggest Kane Construction Management Inc. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, their work is unparalleled. Visit them in person or give them a call on (321) 204-7720 for more information.