Why am I feeling good about blogging these days?

The reason has everything to do with cost effective, quite reliable forensic investigation. I’m realizing, more and more, how easy this can be.

People still get hurt and things break and fall down during a pandemic and someone wants to know why – like injured parties, lawyers and insurers. At least well enough to resolve a dispute or claim in some fashion.

Well enough doesn’t mean exhaustively, at least in the beginning, nor necessarily at all.

This acceptance of well enough has coincided with my interest lately in how much forensic investigation is enough. It also suits the requirement these days to stay home/in-the-office and minimize social and work contact.

My interest developed on realizing experts often know the cause of an accident or failure with considerable certainty very early in an investigation. (Ref. 1) And well enough to resolve a dispute or claim.

Experts know this based on their experience and the well known causes of so many problems in the natural and built environments. (Ref. 2) And also knowing the many parameters that could be investigated in slip, trip and fall accidents, and going about this efficiently. (Ref. 3) The parties to a dispute see where an expert’s findings might go and decide to resolve rather than spend more money.

I’ve been blogging on these aspects of forensic investigation for some time in the interest of more cost-effective work. This also suits pandemic times just fine.

My interest was kick-started

  • When I realized the value of drone photography in recent years, (Ref. 4)
  • Moved along when I researched the different ways structures can fail and these classified and used in forensic investigation, (Ref. 5)
  • Went faster in the last year or so on recognizing the need and value of virtual visual site assessments during COVID-19, (Ref. 6)
  • And faster still when I realized the reliability of virtual assessments could be subjectively and usefully quantified, (Ref. 7)
  • Jumped forward on assessing the cause of a retaining wall failure in Ottawa based on a virtual visual site assessment, (Ref. 8)
  • Took off during that retaining wall assessment on seeing the contribution of Google Earth Pro photography to my assessment of the wall, (Refs 9 and 10)
  • Was reinforced when I got word back on how my virtual visual site assessment of the retaining wall contributed, along with input by others, to reducing the re-construction costs of the wall by almost half, and
  • My interest finalized on realizing how forensic investigation of the dozens of parameters that need to be considered in slip, trip and fall accidents can be dealt with efficiently and cost effectively with a simple initial task and many parameters eliminated, (Ref. 11)
  • But, just to be sure, add in 3D plotting of the results of a slip and fall investigation using an app and Google Earth Pro. (Ref. 9)
  • If that’s not enough, my interest was driven home on realizing how Zoom meetings will add further to cost-effective forensic engineering investigation.

This is the reason I’m blogging these days. It’s hard not to. It’s exciting and very satisfying to see quite reliable, cost effective forensic investigation in dispute resolution.

At the end of the day, this reason reflects the purpose of my blog: To explain the nature and methods of forensic engineering and expert services in jargon-free writing to non-technical people like civil litigation lawyers, litigants, injured parties, insurers and property owners.


You might also take a look at the blogs posted on August 15, 2019, July 13, 2018, June 30, 2017 July 22, 2016 and August 7, 2014 about my reasons for blogging, particularly the first in this list: August 15, 2019; a good read.


  1. You could be excused for thinking that everything is falling down. Posted July 23, 2020
  2. What’s in “…the built environment” and how many ways can it fail? Posted July 8, 2020
  3. Experts, Litigants, Insurers: Beware! There are dozens of parameters that could be investigated at slip, trip and fall sites. Posted February 18, 2021
  4. Drone photography continues to soar to new uses in forensic investigation. Posted March 30, 2020
  5. What’s in “…the built environment” and how many ways can it fail? July 8, 2020
  6. A Bundle of Blogs: On using visual site assessment in forensic investigation. Posted January 25, 2021
  7. The reliability of an educated guess on the cause of a failure or accident. Posted October 22, 2020
  8. What can you get from a virtual visual site assessment about the cause of a leaning retaining wall? Posted November 13, 2020
  9. Using Google Earth photographs in forensic engineering investigation. Posted December 5, 2020
  10. A Bundle of Blogs: Aerial video of insurance and forensic sites taken with cameras mounted on drones. Posted October 31, 2019
  11. What does an engineering expert do at the scene of slip, trip and fall accidents? Posted February 5, 2021


(Posted by Eric E. Jorden, M.Sc., P.Eng. Consulting Professional Engineer, Forensic Engineer, Geotechnology Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada February 26, 2021 ejorden@eastlink.ca)      

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