This is the next post in our series on the handling of construction accident cases in Fort Worth, Texas. Our last article discussed potential third-party liability after a construction accident. Claims against third-parties, such as equipment manufacturers, can quickly become complicated and costs can add up quickly for a personal injury attorney. This is why we consider it important that you retain counsel with the experience and financial backing necessary to handle such matters. In this article we will discuss the importance of expert witnesses, which is one of the reasons why such matters become complex. If you or a loved one have been injured then contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Expert witnesses can be especially important in cases involving a construction accident. As we discussed in our article on the use of experts in oil field injury cases, Texas law does not permit someone to testify to issues involving specialized knowledge or skill unless the Court has deemed them an expert. The Court may deem a witness an expert on the basis of their education, their work experience, their level of certification, or other such criteria. Given that construction accident cases often hinge on whether a company followed proper safety standards, a Plaintiff will need to be able to offer expert testimony as to whether the practices of the company fell below industry standards.
The foregoing need for expert witnesses is best explained by way of example. Suppose it is typical for a company to require that certain employees arrive at a construction job site early for the purpose of ensuring that the lighting is on throughout the various areas of the project. This ensures that the bulk of the employees are at less risk of falling or tripping in the dark. Now suppose that there is a construction project at which the employer has no such requirement. As a result of the lights not being turned on in advance, a member of the construction crew falls and is injured. In order to prove the company’s negligence, it would be necessary for the Plaintiff to retain an expert with experience in the construction field. Such a professional could testify as to the fact that the job site is normally lit early as well as the purpose for these industry norms. The types of issues to which an expert will testify will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
One point we cannot stress enough is that an experienced Fort Worth construction accident lawyer should be retained if you or a loved one have been involved in a construction accident. Your attorney will pay the costs of the expert witnesses and will not be repaid unless the victim recovers damages. This means it is important to select a firm with the resources necessary to retain such professionals. Also, we suggested that a firm should employ multiple attorneys, an on-staff investigator, and that the attorneys are board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.