Best's Insurance Professional Resources

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information

Best's Insurance Professional Resources

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information



Best's Recommended Expert Service Providers

Engineering Experts


3201 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, Louisiana 70002

Established: 2006


About Us

Since its inception in 2006, U.S. Forensic has performed thousands of evaluations to determine the origin and cause of a loss and the extent of damages. Inspections have included various machinery and heavy equipment, commercial and passenger vehicles, residential and commercial buildings, roadways, and marine structures.

Primary focus is assisting our clients in determining the cause of damage. Is it related to a weather event? Did it occur suddenly, or is there a long term contributor? Was there a defect related to the product or construction? Was the construction in compliance with building codes and standards? Was the equipment maintained, repaired, or used properly? Our goal is to provide our clients with definitive answers to these questions by presenting the findings based on scientific evidence.

U.S. Forensic provides quality unbiased reports. These include conclusive findings along with repair recommendations, photos, and diagrams. We can also provide schedules and costs of recommended repairs when warranted. All opinions rendered will be based on the facts of the specific assignment, and all work to complete an assignment will be performed under the rules and regulations of the authoritative engineering board of the state in which the evaluation is being conducted. We provide expert witness testimony to insurance companies, attorneys and have testified before juries and judges in local, state, and federal courts.

U.S. Forensic was named top 100 private companies by New Orleans Magazine in 2015 & 2018 and listed as one of the largest engineering firms in Louisiana in 2018. CityBusiness recognized U.S. Forensic as a "Best Places to Work" company in 2013 & 2014. Two of the founding partners, Mr. Mike DeHarde, P.E. and Mr. William Janowsky, P.E. were selected as the Face of Engineering in Louisiana Life Magazine. We have more than 100 experts on staff which include civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers as well as accident reconstructionists, fire investigators, industrial hygienists, and mold & asbestos inspectors.

It is a priority of U.S. Forensic to provide our clients with conclusive, defendable reports that are timely and cost effective.

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Services Rendered

  • Forensic Engineering
  • Property Damage Investigations
  • Structural Failures
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Roof Failure Analysis
  • Heavy Equipment
  • Product Failure Analysis
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Construction Expert Witness
  • Construction Failure Analysis
  • Construction Forensics
  • Crash Investigation
  • Disaster Inspections
  • Elevator Consulting
  • Expert Testimony
  • Expert Witness
  • Heavy Equipment Inspection
  • Lift Trucks/Fork Lift Trucks
  • Lightning Damage Determination
  • Machinery and Equipment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Product Defect Analysis
  • Property Damage
  • Reconstruction
  • Slip, Trip and Fall
  • Structural Analysis
  • Vehicle Fire Analysis
  • Vehicle Theft Analysis
  • Vehicular Crash Reconstruction
  • Electrical
  • Environmental
  • Fire
  • Automotive Failures
  • Storm Damage
  • Flood
  • HVAC Systems & Lightning
  • Engineering Laboratory
  • Marine Structures
  • Moisture Intrusion/Duration
  • Property
  • Roof Damage
  • Tire Evaluations
  • Elevator Evaluations
  • Key Analysis
  • Vehicle Theft Evaluations

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Qualifications

U.S. Forensic's experts have the appropriate education and training to perform the forensic inspections in their field of practice. For engineers, we require a minimum of a Bachelors Degree in Engineering, a Professional Engineering License, and specialized training or experience in their field of practice. Other experts such as accident reconstructionists and fire investigators are required to maintain necessary certifications. Experts participate in professional development courses and maintain professional association memberships.

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Additional Locations

  • Birmingham, AL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Grand Junction, CO
  • Pueblo, CO
  • Stratford, CT
  • Destin, FL
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Macon, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Lexington, KY
  • Lafayette, LA
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Portland, ME
  • Detroit, MI
  • Flint, MI
  • Lansing, MI
  • Hattiesburg, MS
  • Jackson, MS
  • Picayune, MS
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Newark, NJ
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • New York, NY
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Columbia, SC
  • Greenville, SC
  • Memphis, TN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Cheyenne, WY

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Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
  • American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • American Indoor Air Quality Council (AIAQC)
  • National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
  • Roofing Consultants Institute (RCI)
  • International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI)
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)
  • Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute of ASCE

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Service Area

Servicing all 50 States and Puerto Rico

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Personnel Information

U.S. Forensic Leadership Team


Gary L. Bell

Mr. Bell is the managing partner of U.S. Forensic, L.L.C. and is responsible for the day to day operations of the national forensic engineering consulting firm. Mr. Bell holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master of Science Degree and has over 18 years experience in engineering, fire investigations, environmental and construction markets. As the administrative manager for U.S. Forensic, he directs overall company growth strategies.

He has experience in hiring and training of administrative, sales and technical positions; has developed sales, advertising and marketing strategies; performed site selection and contract negotiation of physical locations; maintained customer relations programs; negotiated national service contracts and implemented technical quality controls. Mr. Bell has also taught two college level business management courses.

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Bill Janowsky, P.E.

Mr. Janowsky oversees U.S. Forensic's Civil Engineering and Flood Departments. He obtained his Master's degree in Civil Engineering from Tulane University after his Bachelor's degree from the University of New Orleans and is a registered professional engineer in civil engineering in numerous states. Throughout his career, Mr. Janowsky has performed forensic investigations and supervised the design and construction of numerous engineering projects consisting of new construction, modifications to existing features, and damage repairs, from the initial client contact through the completion of construction. He has coordinated efforts of structural, mechanical, electrical, surveying, and drafting department personnel to produce concise, constructible design concepts and accurate construction drawings and specifications.

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Mike DeHarde, P.E.

Mr. DeHarde manages U.S. Forensic's Mechanical & Electrical Divisions. He is a graduate of the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Sciences, Mechanical Engineering Option. He has education and training in mechanical engineering, automotive equipment, psychometrics, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, residential, and commercial construction, structures, damage assessment, and failure analysis.

Mr. DeHarde's specific forensic engineering experience includes years of failure analysis, accident investigations, and mold formation causes. He has given presentations on lightning damage to HVAC systems, smart homes, and equipment; product liability investigations; and moisture source investigations. He has testified in state and municipal courts in Louisiana and Mississippi as an expert witness in forensic engineering, vehicle mechanics, mechanical engineering, accident reconstruction, vehicle design, vehicle failures, and hail damage to vehicles.

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Articles

Water Heater Connector Failures: An Engineering Assessment of Cause by Michael DeHarde, P.E.and Brian Darr, P.E., Claims Magazine

Documenting Installation in Product Liability Cases by Michael DeHarde, P.E., Subrogator Magazine

Getting the Most Traction on Your Tire Failure Case by Brian Darr, P.E., Subrogator Magazine

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Forensic Services

Coverage by State

News & Events

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High Profile Cases

Carnival Triumph case on Mobile River, April 3, 2013. For more information on the details of the case and U.S. Forensic's findings, visit our Cruise Ship Investigation  page.

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U.S. Forensic has more than 100 experts on staff which include civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers as well as accident reconstructionists, fire investigators, industrial hygienists, and mold & asbestos inspectors.


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