When you look at the picture it may be easy to tell what damage was caused by a vehicular collision to the front of a residential structure. What the picture doesn’t show is possible damage to the foundation or to the walls and door frames inside of the house. Cracks may be visible throughout the house, but how do you tell what was there before the accident? The trained eye of an engineer can discern what was caused by the vehicular event and what was pre-existing, a skill that takes years to develop. At Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt, we have structural engineers who have extensive experience in their field and use their knowledge when called upon to investigate virtually any form of damage to a residential or commercial property which could include anything from a vehicular accident to fire damage to a partial structural collapse as a result of snow and ice accumulation.
Vehicles hitting buildings in particular are quite prevalent. There is no single, comprehensive source of this type of data, but based on a study by the Storefront Safety Council (1), it is projected that there are at least 100 collisions between American drivers and building structures every day, or approximately 36,500 impacts per year – and that is probably the lower bound. They also estimate that these car-on-building accidents result in approximately 16,000 injuries and 2,500 deaths each year.
Our forensic engineers work with a variety of clients, including companies and attorneys, to aid in the investigation of residential and commercial properties. The role of the engineer is to visit the site, gather evidence, analyze the information, and report their findings to the client. The work of a forensic engineer is impartial and the report reflects their direct observations.
One staff member in particular, Paul B. Twyman, P.E., has engineering experience that includes 14 years of performing forensic investigations of structural failures, building envelope failures, code compliance evaluations, and roof condition inspections. As a forensic engineer, he has handled a wide range of responsibilities including premise liability assessments, flood/moisture intrusion cases, structural investigations, and building code analysis of residential and commercial properties.
Paul has inspected over two thousand damaged commercial and residential structures to determine causation and extent of damage. His experience has aided him in the preparation of expert reports and testimony regarding design, analysis, code compliance, review of installed construction and construction activities.
The office of Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt is centrally located within New York State and we believe ourselves to be positioned well to evaluate claims across the state.
We are immediately available to assist with insurance claims related to a variety of property-related damages. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any questions regarding our competitive fee rate, availability, and areas of expertise.