Dirk Diederich

Publicly appointed and sworn expert by the Hanover Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Area of expertise: Industrial glass technology (production, analysis and quality assurance)

Expert opinion

Expert opinion in court

As ö. b. u. v. Sachverständiger I am commissioned by the court to prepare an expert opinion. The court report fulfils special requirements and is drawn up by me in writing in a form that the client can understand. A court report can be used in both civil and criminal proceedings. My task here is to assess the technical aspects or to make a judgement on the matter in dispute; I do not take a legal view of the facts in need of clarification. The legal assessment is the sole responsibility of the courts and the defence lawyers of the disputing parties.

Examples of topics on which I have been commissioned by the court to prepare an expert opinion:

  • Breakage or explosion as the cause of a broken mineral water bottle
  • Time and cost calculation for replacing a car rear window
  • Adhesion problems of coatings on drinking glasses
  • Assessment of glass breakage of a teapot
  • Assessment of glass breakage of a car headlight

Private expert opinion

A private expert opinion, also known as a party expert opinion, is commissioned by individuals, companies, associations and organisations, possibly also by lawyers. It refers to an expert opinion commissioned by a party for evidentiary purposes.

Private expert activities are of considerable importance not only in the out-of-court clarification of legal claims, but also in advisory, information, testing and monitoring activities.

Private expert opinions can also be used as party expert opinions in court proceedings or as the basis for a legal dispute.

Private appraisals are required, among other things, for

  • Preservation of evidence
  • Damage assessment
  • Preparation of legal proceedings
  • Securing claims
  • Counselling to support decisions
  • Support with troubleshooting and remedial measures
  • Determination of costs and value

In order to introduce you to the very different subject areas within my area of expertise for which private expert opinions were required, you can see a short list of the areas in which I was active, among others:

  • Weather-related damage to window glass
  • RAL colour determination of coated glass samples
  • Comparison of the optical properties of anti-reflective glass
  • Line audits in hollow glassworks
  • Line audits in beverage bottling plants
  • Assessment of glass surfaces
  • Causes of glass breakage in yacht glazing
  • Optical effects with curved glass
  • Improper glass breakthrough from melting tank
  • Determination of forces that cause ampoules to break
  • Assessment of glass splinters in the product
  • Assessment and classification of window glass (e.g. structure, thicknesses, laminated safety glass, toughened safety glass)
  • Damage to window glass due to sandblasting work (shot blasting work)
  • Glass breakage in fire-resistant panes
  • Broken windows in new buildings
  • Glass breakage in the conservatory
  • Broken drinking glasses

Insurance appraisal

Insurance appraisals are usually commissioned by insurance companies and are required as part of the claims settlement process.

However, as the policyholder, you can also commission me to prepare an expert opinion if the expert opinion is to be used to check whether claims for reimbursement can be asserted against the insurer. Frequently, a different view of the amount of damage should also be expertly explained and itemised to the insurer.

My expert opinions are always independent and impartial.

Insurance appraisals are required, among other things, for

  • Damage assessment
  • Determining the cause of damage
  • Cost calculation
  • Determination of reimbursement claims

Below are some examples of insurance appraisals that I have prepared:

  • Glass breakage of an art object
  • Thread breakages in packaging jars
  • Damage to leaded glass
  • Glass breakage of a display case
  • Bruch eines Glastisches

Expert opinion

An expert opinion differs from an expert report in its scope. It can correspond to an expert opinion in its structure, but is less formalised as it is not subject to any defined specifications. In contrast to an expert opinion, it is often sufficient here to refer to the key points or only to certain issues of the overall complex without having to document the findings and how the results were obtained in detail.

I can also discuss in detail in the form of a statement any queries relating to expert opinions I have already prepared, provided they do not involve additional issues that require a supplementary expert opinion.

Independent evidentiary proceedings

Independent evidence proceedings can be applied for by all parties concerned at the competent court even before the actual court proceedings take place. In this case, as a sworn expert, I am commissioned by the court to prepare a neutral expert report as evidence.