Why you may need mediation or an expert witness to help resolve your building dispute …
The rise of the Building and Construction industry has inevitably led to an increasing number of building disputes.
Building disputes can be complex because they can involve a lot of contractors and suppliers. There may also be many intricate details, depending on the type of building and the nature of the issue.
What are the possible paths to resolving a building dispute?
If all parties involved in the building dispute cannot come to an agreement themselves, then the next step is mediation. If mediation still does not resolve the dispute, then the matter may proceed to court.
These 2 steps are explained in more detail below.
What is building dispute mediation?
Mediation is a process where an impartial third party assists the conflicting parties to negotiate a settlement. It aims for a speedy resolution by helping the opposing parties reach an agreement that is fair to both.
Mediation prevents the parties from throwing a mountain of legal manoeuvres at each other.
Advantages of mediation in building disputes
Mediation may help bring about a more satisfactory dispute resolution in many ways:
- Risk and cost control
- Flexible and creative terms
- Faster and binding results
- A more confidential process
The mediator must have well-honed negotiation skills to help avoid the conflict escalating to a court case. The mediator will advise you of the appropriate path to take to resolve your dispute.
If the conflicting parties still cannot come to an agreement, then the matter will move to court and you will need a building expert witness to give independent evidence.
What is the role of an expert witness in a building dispute?
The expert witness examines the conflict, inspects the building and gives an accurate report with conclusions on technical issues that can aid in the legal process. The expert can advise lawyers if claims have merit.
Courts use expert witnesses whose education, training, skills and experience qualify them to give a specialised opinion in their field.
How to choose the right building expert witness
If you are having a dispute with your builder or tradesman, then your first line of defence is to contact an expert professional who possesses the following:
- In-depth knowledge and expertise of the industry and its laws
- Up-to-date experience in presenting expert evidence and cross-examination
- The right accreditation and a good reputation
- Ability to grasp difficult issues and to communicate solutions
Disputes arise from different types of issues, which is why it is important to get expert advice that is specific to your particular building problem.