House Inspector

Engineering Investigations Expert Testimony

Questions and Answers

1.   Question:  How are claim requests sent to Electrical Forensics?

 Answer:  You may call or email a request to Electrical Forensics.  If by email, a follow-up call from us will confirm the assignment and discuss details of the loss before it is listed as an assignment.

2.   Question:  Does Electrical Forensics have fire investigators?

 Answer:  Yes, all of our engineers are also certified as fire investigators.  We have been trained, tested, and certified as Certified Fire Investigators (CFI) through the International Association of Arson Investigators.  Our engineers have also been trained, tested, and certified as Certified Fire and Explosion Investigators (CFEI) and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigators (CVFI) by the National Association of Fire Investigators.  We also work with fire investigators previously assigned to the loss.  

3.   Question:  Does Electrical Forensics work with competing forensic firms?

 Answer:  Yes, a large portion of our business is providing electrical engineering expertise to competing forensic investigation firms.  Many forensic firms do not have electrical engineers on staff and hire us to supplement their investigators on an as needed basis.  Firms with electrical engineers on staff may have engineers unavailable for a particular assignment or too far away to be cost effective.  We provide an engineer that meets their requirements of licensing and expertise in the assigned task.  Reports are written independently or routed through the primary firm since it is their client.  The primary firm is free to use their format and letterhead for the Electrical Forensics text, if desired.

4.   Question:  Can I call Electrical Forensics to ask a question that may or may not be related to an Electrical Forensics assignment?

 Answer:  We gladly accept calls that are unrelated to an assignment.  This is a good way to introduce ourselves to future clients and for our existing clients to have an electrical resource.  There is more to a relationship than just answering assignment questions. 

5.   Question:  Does Electrical Forensics engineers travel outside the Southeast?

 Answer:  Yes, we travel all over the U.S.  We fly by commercial airline whenever this is more cost effective than driving.  We try to insure that flight, rental car, and lodging expenses are minimized.  The expense items are billed at cost and are itemized on our invoices.  Receipts are available upon request.

6.   Question:  How does Electrical Forensics provide a faster turn-around time for site investigations and reports than most forensic firms?

 Answer:  We value our reputation and prefer to have many very satisfied clients versus having a large number of less satisfied clients.  Electrical Forensics limits our workload to ensure that we meet or exceed our clients expectations of timely and detailed reports. 

7.   Question:  In what states are your engineers registered?

 Answer:  The staff is currently registered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  Other states can be added when requested by our clients.   We do, however, travel all over the United States. 

8.   Question:  Do you always include a written report with an investigation?

 Answer:  Definitely not.  There are two major reasons why written reports are not provided unless requested.  First, our client may not desire a written report when the findings do not warrant the added expense of a written report.  Second, a written report may not be desired when it goes against the insured and may become part of the legal Discovery process.  Attorneys are normally hired to defend their clients, not condemn their clients.

9.   Question:  Do reports written by Electrical Forensics hold up in court?

 Answer:  So far, no report written by the staff has ever been challenged in court and lost.  Every report is written with the courts in mind.  Reports contain lots of photographs and associated explanations documenting the findings.  Electrical measurements are explained in detail. The explicit nature of our reports is normally sufficient to allow the case to be settled out of court.

10.   Question:  How are travel charges calculated?

 Answer:  Time and Mileage is calculated from Brentwood, TN (Nashville).  Charges for time and mileage can be divided among multiple claims that are worked as a group during the same time period.  Travel charges can be calculated and agreed to in advance before an assignment is taken.  We will work with you the best we can to insure that our rates are cost effective for your organization.  It is very common for Electrical Forensics to have a lower overall project cost than a firm physically located in the city of the loss.

11.  Question:  Does Electrical Forensics have Administrative Charges?

 Answer:  Most, if not all of our competitors have administrative charges added to their invoices.  We do not wish to nickel-and-dime our clients.  We do not normally charge administrative fees unless a report contains over 40 photographs, is unusually long or complicated, or more than one hard copy is requested.

We never charge for phone calls to our clients or for verbal reports.  Electrical Forensics considers this just good customer service and should be a part of every project. 

12.  Question:  Will we have to stop using our current Engineering Firm in order to try out Electrical Forensics?

 Answer:   No.  Clients can use Electrical Forensics as their primary engineering resource or as a backup when their primary resource is not available for a particular assignment.  It is also very common for an Electrical Forensics engineer to supplement an existing firm or investigator already assigned to a loss.  We work with all other disciplines and firms. 

13.  Question:  Can Electrical Forensics provide a fast response time to an investigation that is already underway?

  Answer:  If an engineer is available, we can often initiate travel to the scene in as little as 30 minutes.  Details of the case can be discussed while traveling to the loss site.  This is often the situation when a Fire Investigator is currently working a fire scene and needs an Electrical Engineer to work along side him or her and help rule in or out an electrical Origin and Cause.  As stated above, we work with all other disciplines and firms.      

If you have additional questions, please call (615) 772-1854 or email Electrical Forensics, Inc. at jcoleman@ElectricalForensics.com