Structural Engineering Forensics

Forensic Analysis | Expert Testimony | Insurance Claims

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Your Local Network of A&E Experts

There are many causes of structural failure – often caused by a combination of several factors. Natural disasters, inadequate design, poor materials, construction errors, insufficient maintenance or fraud can lead a structure to failure.

Our licensed structural engineers assess and determine the cause of structural damage(s) and can provide a written report documenting observations. Forensic services for Lawyers, Contractors, Real Estate agents, and Homeowners.

We prepare defensible litigation support reports, consult with additional experts as needed, educate homeowners and attorneys, and provide expert testimony in depositions, hearings, trials,

Forensic Structural Engineering

forensic structural engineering

What Are Forensic Services?

An engineer who specializes in the analysis of structural failures. They evaluate and determine what happened and provide recommendations and repairs for the buildings going forward.

“Forensic” literally means having to do with the court system. So any engineering effort that may result in court testimony or litigation service.

Forensic Structural Engineering services.

A forensic engineer is a specialist in a branch of structural engineering which involves investigations and diagnosis of structural issues within a legal context. A professional engineer combines their expertise with investigative techniques, to determine the causes of structural damage and failures. These failures can occur in buildings, civil infrastructure such as waste-water networks, bridges and roads and just about any man-made structure, emphasizing the importance of occupational safety and compliance with building codes.

Our forensic engineering specialists can carry out crucial investigations on residential and commercial properties as well as industrial structures.

The Critical Role of a professional Engineer

A Forensic structural engineer is instrumental in identifying the reasons behind building failures, such as collapses in the building, oversights by the building contractor and building code violations. This understanding is vital for improving construction practices, and preventing similar incidents in the future.

A forensic structural engineer will undertake a structural investigation into material failure of a building, using science to provide in-depth insights into the causes of structural breakdowns. This level of investigation is critical, as these can often be catastrophic failures that lead to litigation and prosecution.

Forensic Structural Engineers in Legal Contexts

Expert Testimonies and Comprehensive Reports

The testimonies and detailed reports provided by a professional engineer form the backbone of conflict and legal resolutions in structural disputes.

These reports meticulously document their investigative process, structure analysis, and observations, serving as indispensable evidence in courtrooms and aiding in resolving issues and disputes before being escalated to the court for litigation. 

In cases of structural failure, for example, these reports offer a clear and factual understanding of the technical issues involved, informing fair and accurate outcomes of legal proceedings.

Forensic Structural Engineering

Professional forensic structural engineers blend their technical knowledge of structure with legal acumen, delivering reports and testimonies that are critical in commercial and residential structural cases. Their role is crucial in interpreting and presenting complex technical findings relating to any structure within the framework of legal standards and practices.

Forensic Structural Engineering: Beyond Technical Investigation

Investigative Expertise and Structural Safety

Forensic structural engineers not only investigate but also aim to identify how to enhance the safety and longevity of structures. Their work involves a detailed examination of structural components, materials, and design, leading to recommendations that improve safety standards and construction practices.

Legal counsel involving a professional engineer.

Only a professional engineer that is registered with the relevant professional organizations can navigate the complexities of legal cases involving structural collapse. They have the necessary education and experience to make expert reports which are often the determining factor in legal disputes.

Comprehensive Reports for Legal and Construction Industries

The reports generated by forensic engineers are detailed and evidence-based, serving as key documents in legal proceedings and construction industry reviews after catastrophic failure. These reports not only explain the technical aspects of a failure but also provide actionable recommendations for future prevention and safety measures.

Aiding in developing and enhancing building codes and standards of practice.

Ever wonder who determines the limits and extents set out in local, national and international building codes and regulations? Well, simply put, we are learning from our past mistakes, and Forensic Engineers are the experts behind understanding what went wrong and suggesting changes in codes to prevent future failures.

The Essential Role of Forensic Structural Engineers in Varied Situations

Scenarios Necessitating Expert Intervention

  • Construction-Related Disasters: Addressing structural collapse resulting from construction errors, inadequate materials, or design flaws.
  • Natural Calamities: Assessing and mitigating the impact of natural disasters on a structure.
  • Insurance and Legal Disputes: Providing essential investigation and expert testimony in disputes over insurance claims or liabilities regarding structural failure.
structural inspection

Forensic Structural Engineering Scope of Works

  • In-Depth Structural Analysis: Meticulously examining a structure to identify potential and existing issues.
  • Foundation Evaluation and Repair: Focusing on the assessment and remediation of foundation problems.
  • Expert Witness Services: Offering authoritative testimonies in legal cases involving structural concerns.

Our Forensic Services include:

  • Litigation Support
  • Contract Dispute Resolution
  • Failure to disclose existing Real Estate issues
  • Foundation assessment and repair
  • Structural evaluation
  • Foundation evaluation
  • Forensic Analysis 
  • Expert Testimony
  • Insurance Claims
  • Structural Reports
  • Site evaluation
  • Property analysis
  • Contract review
  • Foundation cracking
  • Reinforce and retrofit framing
  • Upgrading of a building system
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Failure Investigations
  • Civil engineering services
  • Non-destructive testing
  • identifying and consulting on code violations
  • Code analysis
  • Environmental / health issues / EPA – fines / pollution
  • Fires
  • Wastewater
  • Electrical / mechanical / plumbing / basement / sewage
  • Many other areas
Forensic Engineering in the Legal Arena

Professional forensic engineers are not just technical experts; they are also skilled communicators, adept at presenting complex findings in understandable terms in legal matters. When it comes to the investigation of structural collapse, a professional engineer can assess the extent of the problem,

Step-by-Step Approach to Forensic Engineering

  • Initial Assessment: Gathering preliminary information to understand the nature and scope of the structural issue.
  • Site Inspection and Data Collection: Conducting comprehensive on-site evaluations and collecting relevant data.
  • Detailed Reporting and Recommendations: Compiling findings into a thorough report, accompanied by expert recommendations for remediation or legal action.

The Impact of a Forensic Engineering in Legal Outcomes

Professional Engineer : Forensic Engineers

At Level Engineering, we bring decades of experience and specialized knowledge in forensic structural engineering. Our team of experts is equipped with the latest technology and methodologies to analyze, report on and resolve complex, structural integrity issues.

We understand the intricacies of structural failure and are committed to providing solutions that ensure safety, compliance, and longevity of buildings.

Client Testimonials: Reflecting Our Commitment to Excellence Hear first hand from our clients about their experiences:
The $275 I spent with LEVEL saved me more than $100,000 in potential repair costs.
Mike E.
Level Engineering came in, understood our situation and quickly turned around a clear concise structural observation letter that allowed me to complete my remodel. Very much appreciated!
Calvin S.
LEVEL came out and analyzed my sagging porch roof, determined it was a supporting post and sunk several inches over time and drew up a plan to jack up the beam, shim the post and attach metal brackets to brace the post and beam. Nice solution at a fair price.
Bill B.
They then helped me navigate communications with the city until they covered the $80,000+ to solve the problem.
Sandra B
We had a fantastic experience getting a structural survey for a home we were purchasing. The engineer Murray was incredibly helpful and friendly too. 10/10 would recommend Level Engineering!
Austin Klemmer
Prompt, knowledgeable, creative and professional.
John Berg

Level Offices

We come to the site location and have a large coverage area in each city we serve. Give us a call or chat to see if we’re in your area.

With more locations opening soon!

Find yourself in a fix?

Contact Level Engineering today and to book a consultation with one of our forensic structural engineers. No matter the extent of your structural problem, consulting a professional engineer from Level engineering will give you peace of mind backed by excellence and experience.