What is expert evidence?
Expert evidence is used to assist the court when certain cases involve matters on which it does not have the required technical or specialist knowledge. Expert evidence can be a written affidavit, report or testimony given by an expert witness.
Why you need an expert witness when involved in a building dispute
When a dispute is unresolved and reaches NCAT, parties are encouraged to seek expert advice. Building disputes can be complicated as each area of a building construction uses different specialist skills. An expert witness utilises their knowledge and experience to provide both written and oral independent evidence to the Courts.
What is the importance of expert evidence in building disputes
- Expert evidence can help persuade the court to come up with a binding decision in the dispute.
- The court will rely on the expert witness report to make an assessment of the issues on the case since lawyers and judges are not familiar with the engineering process in building construction.
- How an expert witness manifests his knowledge through written form supported by descriptive photos in an “expert report” can be useful in strengthening a legal argument.
- An expert witness’s testimony based on opinion can help determine whether a party in question met the level of responsibility associated with their job description and duties.
- Often in difficult NCAT cases, liability is difficult to determine, a building construction expert can provide critical testimony on to shed light on issues.
This why those involved in building disputes should carefully consider who they appoint an expert witness.
What is the ideal construction expert witness?
- Has extensive knowledge and expertise of the industry
- An industry practitioner who is up to date with the following:
- construction process
- latest construction methods
- materials used in building works
- A well versed and effective communicator able to describe the following in a way the court understands:
- industry standards
- technical language
- complex issues