At Engineering Sydney, our extensive experience in preparing expert opinion witness reports for a variety of courts and participation in many expert conclaves has formed the foundation for a sound background of this type of reporting. Also, on a number of occasions the court has constantly referred to the various drawings and diagrams prepared by Engineering Sydney, and then weighed the evidence prepared by other parties against the reports prepared by our experts.
What is Forensic Engineering?
Forensic Engineering is the investigation of materials, structures, products or components that fail or do not function or operate as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property. The consequences of failure are dealt with by the law of product liability. This field also deals with retracing processes and procedures leading to accidents in operation of machinery or vehicles. The subject is applied most commonly in civil law cases, although it may be of use in criminal law cases. Generally, the purpose of a forensic engineering investigation is to locate the cause, or causes of failure with a view to improve performance or life of a component, or to assist a Court in determining the facts of an accident. It can also involve investigation of intellectual property claims, especially patents.
Forensic engineering, when applied to the civil & ground engineering fields, describes the investigative reporting and work undertaken in connection with a legal dispute, civil or insurance claim or allegation of professional negligence. A distinctive feature of ‘forensic work’ is documentation and assembly of all the relevant facts in a form that can be submitted to a Court, and an associated report prepared by a recognised expert in the field.
What Are ‘Engineering Experts’?
In legal proceedings, an expert engineer is often engaged to offer an opinion to the Court for the reason of informing the Court as to the facts and circumstances of a certain matter. Whilst it is always the province of the Court to determine the ‘facts’ of a matter, it is currently a common occurrence for engineering experts to gather and document the facts in a form that can be considered by a Court.
As such, the role of an engineering expert is often to determine and document the facts surrounding an incident or event, and to then provide an opinion on the basis of those facts. Subsequently, the Court then undertakes the process of making the relevant ‘legal’ decisions as to any liability / responsibility of a person or organisation.
What Are Expert Forensic Reports?
Expert reports are those which are prepared by a recognised expert, and submitted to a Court for the purposes of informing the Court as to the opinions of the expert on a certain matter. Whilst normally expert reports are prepared in conjunction with specific rules & guidelines set out by the various courts, where expert advice is requested before the initiation of legal proceedings, expert reports can be prepared for the purposes of informing a client as to an expert’s opinion.
Irrespective of whether or not the expert report is prepared in accordance with a Court’s rules, the subsequent legal processes will often result in the report being made available to all parties. It is important that any expert report prepared should be able to withstand scrutiny by many professionals & parties.
Engineering Experts are also:
- Regarded by a Court as an ‘officer’ of the Court.
- Bound by specific ‘codes of conduct’ established by various courts.
- Often work in conjunction with insurance loss adjusters, barristers and lawyers in relation to a particular dispute, and sometimes assist with the proceedings themselves.
What is a Forensic Investigation?
A forensic investigation is one that is undertaken for the sole purpose of obtaining and documenting facts for the purposes of providing evidence to a Court. As such, the investigation always needs to be undertaken out carefully and methodically, as well as being documented in a form that ensures the traceability of all the evidence.
In addition, as an engineering expert’s opinion will usually be based on the facts & matters disclosed by a forensic investigation, it is essential that the investigation disclose all the relevant facts making up the foundation to the expert’s opinion. If this is not completed, during the course of the resulting legal proceedings new evidence may come to light that can cause an expert to differ on their opinion, with resultant legal and other challenges for a client.
I am a lawyer acting for a client who is involved in litigation and require an expert report to assist my client; are you in a position to assist?
Engineering Sydney’s engineers are well experienced in forensic & ground engineering, and have prepared many expert reports for litigation in relation to ground and geotechnical engineering matters. The first step in Engineering Sydney servicing you with assistance is for you to provide us with some relevant documentation for us to briefly peruse and then discuss the matter further. This initial document review and discussion can also often be carried out for a very modest fee.
We need an Expert Report in relation to a particular matter; can you help?
Providing that the matter is within Engineering Sydney’s expertise, Engineering Sydney should be able to assist. Discuss the matter with one of Engineering Sydney’s experts, contact us here at 0412 229 988 or get in contact via our contact form.
My house has been damaged by construction next door and I want to initiate legal proceedings; my solicitor has advised that I need to obtain an engineer’s report, what should I do?
Engage Engineering Sydney to complete a site inspection as soon as possible. Arrange for Engineering Sydney to have access to the site, and provide Engineering Sydney with any photographs, plans and other documents that you may have available.
Engineering Sydney specialises in civil and structural engineering in Parramatta. We are very passionate and experienced within the residential market, helping builders, developers and architects reach their engineering goals. To learn more about our services feel free to contact us here or simply call 0412 229 988.