What to Do When Facing a Claim and How to Avoid Future Claims Part 1
Numerous issues on a construction site can lead to legal disputes. Issues such as owner directed changes, failure to approve key submissions in a timely manner, and delayed work can all give rise to a construction claim.
This is why contractors must be cognizant and proactive about handling changes and unresolved matters before they escalate into disputes and claims. In this two-part article, our Florida construction lawyers will give some tips on what to do when facing a claim and how to avoid future claims. If you’d like to learn more, read part two of our article.
It is easy to panic when you receive a notice of a claim against your company, but no matter what, resist the urge to jump to conclusions. The issue could be easily repaired and may involve little to no legal involvement. On the other hand, the opposing party’s claim may be unfounded, so it is best to stay as objective as possible.
Compile Project Documents Immediately
Gathering evidence and documentation is preliminary to the construction defect claim process. This should be done as soon as possible, especially if the claim is related to an old project it may take longer to retrieve records. If there is any inclination that your company will be involved in a claim, preserve all documentation. The quicker records are accessed the better your chances of defending your best interests. Basic types of documentation you should keep track of include:
- Daily logs
- Payment records
- Time records
- Requests for information
- Meeting minutes
- Change orders (pending and approved)
Contemporaneous documentation is one of the best ways to prevent claims and disputes from escalating beyond what they should. These documents and other key documents will tell the real story as events unfold.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.