If you ever find yourself in the middle of a construction lawsuit, you’re going to learn that many of the facts are in the hands of the expert witnesses. This is because construction techniques are often very foreign to folks from outside the industry.
Many of the detailed building techniques utilized on construction projects are exceptionally detailed, and are far from obvious. For example, did you know that a “shingled” roof is not water-tight, but rather sheds water downward and outward? Or, did you know that house wrap must be flashed into windows in a particularized way before siding gets put up? For virtually every trade involved in building a home–from design (both architectural and structural), to framing, plumbing, electric wiring, roofing, and more–there are numerous particularized and detailed techniques or best practices.
If you were to show up to Court without an expert witness against a builder or tradesman, you would be at a severe disadvantage because the opposing party would have a superior position of knowledge regarding whether they installed defective work on your project. The more specialized the field, the more specialized the expert must be. For example, it’s going to require a licensed architect or structural engineer to find and demonstrate defects in architectural or structural drawings.
You must also find the right construction expert for your lawsuit. The expert’s level of experience with litigation is important to consider. Some experts have testified in numerous cases. These professional consultants have the benefit of knowing, in detailed fashion, about how to deliver their testimony in a way that’s effective. But you must be careful, because some experts can develop a reputation as a “hired gun,” which can be problematic for your lawsuit. On the other hand, an expert with no litigation experience may not be ready for the rigors and challenges of a hotly contested construction case.
Finally, expert witnesses can prove very expensive. You must ensure that you and the expert are on the same page as far as what the expert will do for you, and what those services are likely to cost.
In short, for a construction lawsuit, an expert witness is going to be critical, and you must spend considerable time vetting and making the right decision. If you’re facing a construction lawsuit, and you need a lawyer who knows how to carefully vet and select an expert witness, call the construction law attorneys at Asheville Legal today.