The functions of an expert
Business would not work without experts.
Our legal system would not be able to function without experts. Without experts, many legal disputes would remain unsolvable. The legal peace would be seriously disrupted. The publicly appointed official expert is obliged to be objective and neutral, and to maintain confidentiality, not only during his activity but for the entire time of his public appointment.
When is a publicly appointed official expert required?
With disputes regarding remuneration claims, guarantees or damage. The following cases lead to the most disputes regarding photovoltaics:
- Low yield
- Construction errors
- Lightning and overvoltage damage
- Fire damage
- Defects determined before inspection
1) Private expert’s report
Reports that are issued outside of court proceedings for private clients are called private expert’s reports. An order to issue a private expert’s report can be made, amongst others, by private persons, legal persons, companies, insurances and administrations. There is no limit to the potential circle of clients.
2) Prevention and quality assurance
From location search to building project inspection – the appointment of a publicly appointed official expert in photovoltaics prevents disputes in advance. With large field sites in particular, banks may require several experts, depending on the project.
3) Arbitrator’s expert report
Arbitrator’s expert reports are usually required when both parties want to clarify a technical matter. Arbitrator’s expert reports are binding. Both parties commit to a single expert. The result of the arbitrator’s expert report is binding for both parties (e.g. amount of a depreciation, distribution of costs...).
4) Expert’s reports for court purposes
Proceedings related to construction are usually long-winded and expensive. Yet many still resort to this course of action even though they are statistically the longest and most expensive proceedings for all those involved.
The publicly appointed official expert is charged by the court to answer questions on the order made by the court. The court bears the costs initially and then, depending on the outcome, distributes them between the parties. The parties are not obliged to conduct their dispute in court. The civil code of procedure itself provides for recourse to an arbitration agreement in §§ 1025 ff. TPO.
5) Expert insurance report
Expert insurance reports are ordered by insurance companies if damage to a photovoltaic installation has arisen due to external influences such as storm, hail, fire or theft. An expert in the field of photovoltaics will always be ordered from a certain amount of damage upwards. An expert insurance report gives the insurance company the required security concerning whether the compensation claim is justified. The decision on the measures that need to be taken is then made based on the contents of the expert insurance report.
In the case of high damages, experts also work with the authorities, such as the police.
Mediation is usually sensible in disputes in which a solution has to be found in a short time. A mediator can, for instance, be a judge with extra qualifications.
Chambers of Trade, amongst others, offer arbitration services.
The result is not legally binding. The arbitrator’s proposal can be taken on board – or not. Arbitration is sensible when both parties are willing to accept the advice or proposal of an arbitrator. An arbitrator can, for instance, propose the costs of a defect or of its elimination.
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