7 Critical Mistakes Engineers and Architects Make During Project Negotiation and Execution: Mistake #7

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July 24, 2019
Author: Melissa Brumback

Author: Melissa Dewey Brumback is an AV-rated partner in the Raleigh, North Carolina law firm of Ragsdale Liggett, where she concentrates her practice on complex construction, commercial, and business litigation. For more information: https://constructionlawnc.com/contact-information/

Mistake #7 Failing To Involve Insurance Company & Lawyer At First Time Of Trouble

No one likes to face the reality of a possible professional negligence claim.  However, you must report any such claim as soon as you become aware of it.  This is for two reasons.  First, if you do not report it right away, you run the risk of the insurance carrier later denying the claim.

Second, most E&O carriers have experienced lawyers on staff who can help you minimize potential claims if you contact them immediately.  At times, the E&O carrier will even hire an attorney on your behalf to assist you behind the scenes, helping to respond to letters claiming design error and the like.  This is called “loss prevention,” and it is usually free for your firm for being a client of the insurance company.  It is generally not considered a claim (since no lawsuit has yet been filed), you usually do not have to pay your deductible, and you get free, and often critical, assistance to stop a claim before it becomes unstoppable.   

If you do not have insurance (although really, you should), you still should consider having a lawyer assist you behind the scenes to clear up
potential problems before they become exacerbated.

Mistake #1 Not Treating The Contract Seriously
Mistake #2 Allowing Unfair Or One-Sided Contract Terms To Persist
Mistake #3 Not Choosing The Proper Dispute Resolution Method
Mistake #4 Failing To Have Good Change Order and/or Failing to Have a Good Request for Information Processes
Mistake #5 Failing To Have A Quality Document Retention System
Mistake #6 Failing To Respond Properly To Claims Of Errors & Omission
Mistake #7 Failing To Involve Insurance Company & Lawyer At First Time Of Trouble

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