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Construction Expert Witness: A Hiring Guide

Stephen Gomez

Written by
— Updated on February 15, 2018

Construction Expert WitnessCo-authored by Peter Radetich.

A construction expert witness is crucial in analyzing the intricacies of a construction case. Because construction law embodies so many different areas of the law, a vast range of a construction expert witnesses are needed. With this variety comes different items that experts can add to the litigation process. Some experts will speak on elements prior to an injury or on elements or conditions during an injury. Other experts may testify on the effects of an injury. With this foundation, understanding the numerous experts that are brought in and what they usually speak to is important. At The Expert Institute, we have found experts for numerous construction cases and compiled this brief guide outlining the four most common types of experts these cases use.

Construction Safety Experts

Frequently in construction cases, someone maintains an injury while working on a job site. A construction safety expert witness provides critical testimony necessary for the fact finder to assess the situation. Their testimony determines whether the worksite was safe or if it fell below the appropriate standards for a construction workplace. Often these experts can be other construction workers or supervisors who have extensive experience working on construction sites. These types of experts have knowledge of the industry norms, any recent developments in construction safety, and relevant OSHA and construction regulations.

Material and Tool Experts

If a defective item (whether it be a tool or material) causes an injury on the construction site, it is extremely important to distinguish between the product malfunctioning and simple user error. Experts with knowledge of the product can determine whether it was working properly or being used in the correct capacity. These experts might include a product developer, an engineer, a warnings expert, a designer, or an individual with a technical background who could discuss how the equipment/material was utilized. This makes a substantial difference in product liability cases.

Medical Experts

When an individual maintains an injury on a construction site, serious medical issues may result. In these cases, doctors frequently need to give their opinion and testimony relating to the individual’s health and claims. Doctors can examine the injured party, and their testimony can shed light on the extent and severity of the injuries suffered and if they are typical for the incident in question.

Design Experts

If a lawsuit involves the specifics of a construction project, and not necessarily a physical injury, it may need a category of experts including designers, architects, and surveyors. Their expert testimony can determine if something was built according to specifications. For example, an architect can point out that the project was not built according to his plans. On the other hand, if brought in to assess another’s design the architect can testify that the plans were faulty to begin with. This is especially useful in disputes involving contracts and physical property.