The Forensic Engineer as a
Litigation Consultant

Cases involving personal injury or significant property damage always include the collection of huge volumes of data. Insurance policy limits, names of witnesses, potential future earnings, loss of profits, emergency and long term medical expenses, the cost of temporary repairs and facility reconstruction are all determined in meticulous detail. But frequently the central question is lost in the clutter. Determining what happened and how it happen is preeminently important. Regardless of the point of view, plaintiff or defense, having a clear understanding of the physics of an accident will bring the matter to resolution post haste and with minimum expense for all parties. The forensic engineer, individually or as part of a team of scientific experts, will provide the answer to this fundamental question.

The services of a forensic engineer should be acquired at the earliest possible time in case development. It is best to involve the expert before filing, or upon service. The forensic engineer can be an invaluable resource in determining the merits of a case. Not all cases that seem meritorious on the surface should be pursued.

Preliminary definition of the events in an accident infers the parties who should be named in a petition, or possible sources of subrogation. The forensic engineer can assist in this decision making process.

All too often, both defense and plaintiff attorneys believe that delaying the involvement of an expert will minimize the cost of litigation. In truth, it often increases the cost by obscuring the actual causes of damaging event. And in the extreme, cases with little or no merit in fact are pursued at substantial expense.

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