Expert opinions

An assessment of competence

An innocuous-sounding title for a very serious, often annoying, and not seldom also expensive issue: the opinion of many an expert. Of course, not every expert, getting in contact with our industry, lacks the needed technical knowledge, there is no doubt about. But, indeed, we have to worry about all the kind of absurd “stuff” experts have already provided.

What shall we think about an expert’s conclusion that 10 cm deep lane grooves in a paved delivery zone could have been avoided if instead of the chosen rectangular paving block of company X the interlocking paver X of company Z had been used? Can we remain calm, if another expert held the surface structure of the blocks solely responsible for the skid marks on the bright concrete block paving, without saying a single word about the fact that tire abrasion occurs on every pavement used by vehicles and that there are really numerous influencing factors?

In my experience, there are many different reasons for incorrect expert opinions. In this regard, a lack of technical knowledge ranks first. But deadline pressure and work carried out superficially are to be mentioned too. Yes, even arrogance and prejudice play a role sometimes. Unfortunately, an official expert, however, cannot afford, for example, lack of technical knowledge and superficial work – and even not at all in court proceedings. I expect from those concerned in view of their importance in the proceedings that they do everything in order to write their reports always factually and technically correct, no matter how long it takes. The Munich-based architect Peter Haimerl once said: “It is good, if it is good. Before that it is bad.” We have already enough bad expert opinions; so, let’s fight against them. We need better expert opinions, and to get them, we would gladly assist you.

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