Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Anything can go wrong, even with a well thought-out building plan, and very likely will. When it’s time to either chase down the parties who are accountable or protect yourself from the damage caused by an error, you’ll need all the evidence on your side. This is why you need building expert witness reports to arm yourself when matters have to be brought to mediation, or even court.
What is a building expert witness report?
A building expert witness report describes any defects, errors, and non-compliant building works that are found within a structure. These reports are used as evidence when a building dispute is brought before a court of law. The information contained in a building expert witness report can help the court reach a sound decision.
A building expert witness report is prepared with compliance to the format required by the Expert Code of Conduct and is designed to assist the courts in determining liability in building and property disputes. These courts include the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Federal Court, the Supreme Court of the NSW, and any other courts where claims and disputes may be filed.
Expert witness reports also contain technical and specialised information that covers the following:
- Information on issues related to building compliance as stated in standard Australian building and construction codes, such as those outlined in the National Construction Code of the Australian Buildings Code Board.
- A detailed report from experts that follow the Expert Witness Code of Conduct.
- Defect reports that are required in the filing of Home Owners Warranty Claims.
- Any other reports that may come from the opposing parties.
Aside from all the gathered data from tests and investigation reports, a building expert witness report must also be:
- Unbiased and well-drafted by a certified expert witness. It should contain all the pertinent facts necessary to the inquiry and must not omit any part of the expert’s conclusion.
- In compliance with the current Civil Procedure Rules.
- Not influenced by the party who hired the expert witness to prepare the report or by any other party involved in the dispute.
Why do you need a building expert witness report?
A building expert witness report is necessary for filing a building claim through the Department of Fair Trading or NCAT. Evidence in a dispute will not be accepted by the Department of Fair Trading unless it is submitted together with a detailed report prepared by a certified Building Expert Witness.
When do you need to submit a building expert witness report?
Disputes are common in construction projects as a lot of stakeholders are involved. These projects are also subject to complex transactions that lead to disagreements and misunderstandings in the contract terms. As a result, building disputes often end up in courts.
Several of the disputes that may lead to court litigation may include the following:
- Delays in stages of building
- Errors in construction management
- Violations in building codes and compliance guidelines that involve titles and permits
- Mismanagement of construction costs
- Accidents caused by construction defects
- Breaches in contracts including financing, insurance, and bonds
Once a building dispute is brought to a court or a tribunal for litigation, a building expert witness report can hasten the investigation processes be used in:
- Audit of related documents
- Interrogation and cross-examination
- Admission requests
Who prepares a building expert witness report?
An expert witness report is prepared by a certified construction industry expert. They are trained and licensed to cover all construction claims and possess extensive knowledge and experience in the construction and building industry. An expert witness is also knowledgeable in the various laws and industry standards that involve building disputes. Using an expert witness in litigation can strengthen your legal argument in a building claim and help convince the court to come up with a resolution that is beneficial to your party.
A building expert witness has the following responsibilities:
- An expert witness provides the court with intelligent opinions based on their expertise and experience.
- They give an unbiased and accurate report that can provide clarifications on technical terms and aid in hastening the legal process. Through data gathering and inspections, they can offer insights that can lead to fair resolutions.
- An expert witness is bound by duty to provide independent and factual evidence to the court.
- Expert witnesses are also made accountable for their unbiased insights. They must carry out a careful analysis of the data that they gather and remain uninfluenced by the party who hired them.
A building expert witness specialises in various fields of the construction industry which includes:
- Building costs estimates
- Standards of care and pertinent building codes
- Complex engineering processes
- Unfair trade practices
- Causes of scheduling delays
Arm yourself with the right type of evidence. Ask your building inspector at Vital today.
We all do our best to ensure that our building projects meet all the local industry standards and invest in efforts to ensure the safety and quality in our construction projects. However, if push comes to shove and you must face litigation due to building disputes, know that we, at Vital Building and Pest Inspections, are ready.
We have the right people who can prepare an effective expert witness report for you. They can aid you in achieving the resolution you need. Get in touch with Vital Building and Pest Inspections at 0401 012 074. Our experts are always ready to help you.