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The Standard of Care by Nelson Forensics

Article originally featured in Nelson Forensics’ Common Perils Newsletter, April 2021
Reprinted with permission by Erik Nelson, Ph.D., P.E. | CEO | Nelson Forensics, LLC

The Standard of Care by Nelson Forensics

Forensic experts use their technical knowledge to investigate failures or performance problems in various types of structures, which may involve providing testimony on the findings of these investigations in a legal forum. When failures occur or defects are alleged in the built environment, forensic experts (commonly engineers and architects) often must determine the causes of these failures and review the related design and construction work. In some cases, experts may be asked to assign or apportion responsibility for a failure or defect to one or more parties.

In cases involving alleged design defects, forensic experts are frequently asked to determine if the work performed by the design professional met the “standard of care” for their profession. In this context, the “standard of care” is generally the level of skill and care that a reasonably careful and reputable design professional would have used in similar circumstances.

In a legal forum, the standard of care may be used to determine if a design professional has committed one or more errors, and if these potential errors have risen to the legal definition of negligence. Because the work performed by design professionals requires specific knowledge, training, experience, and licensure; and because the circumstances under which the work was performed can differ from project to project, experts are required to determine the standard and if it was met on a case by case basis.

The existence of a failure does not necessarily mean that a design professional has violated the standard of care. To properly evaluate the work of a design professional, a forensic investigator must provide an ethical, unbiased determination of whether or not the design professional met the standard of care.

Nelson’s forensic architects and engineers specialize in analyzing defects in the design and construction of structures of all shapes, sizes, and uses. They are experts at examining possible construction defects by builders and/or design defects by designers in their conformance to standards of care in the industry. They evaluate the applicability of building codes, zoning regulations, and accessibility requirements; and assess material performance and specifications, building envelope systems, and damage resulting from natural perils. To request Nelson’s services, please call 877-850-8765, e-mail expert@nelsonforensics.com, or submit an online request.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Pieresearch® is “the Standard of Excellence,” for the Deep Foundation and Earth Retention industries. We have a strong passion for the structural engineering/geotechnical community and the people who work in it! Our goal is to grow through product innovation and continued education… We all learn from one another! We hope you found this article helpful! If you did, I encourage you to share! And if you have an industry-related article you think is worth featuring, please let me know!

Stan Agee, PieresearchStan Agee | PIERESEARCH
501 E. Main St. | Arlington, TX 76010
o: 817-277-3738 | f: 817-275-2335
stanagee@pieresearch.com


Pieresearch® is a manufacturer of quality concrete accessories, exclusively for the benefit of the structural and geotechnical engineering, architectural and construction communities.

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