It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or stressed when faced with a construction defect lawsuit. However, it’s crucial to remain calm and keep a clear mind to make informed decisions throughout the process. This enables you to put your company’s interests first as you develop a plan to address the matter.
One of the first things you must do is review the contract to determine if the construction defect falls under the contract. In many cases, alerting the insurance company is necessary so be sure to do that immediately. You should also consider these points as you handle the claim:
Gather and preserve evidence
Collect all relevant documents, including contracts, project plans, permits, invoices, photographs, and correspondence with the client and subcontractors. Organize these documents chronologically and ensure they are securely stored. This information will be invaluable when building your defense.
Investigate the alleged defect
With the help of your team, such as engineers or architects, investigate the nature and extent of the alleged construction defect. This will help you determine whether the defect is valid, whether you’re responsible for it and if there are any contributing factors, such as design flaws or owner negligence.
Propose a solution
In some cases, it’s possible to come up with a solution for the construction defect, especially if the defect is minor. The client may just want something corrected. If this is possible, discuss it with the client. Be sure you’re realistic about what can be done. If you can’t reach an agreement for correcting the defect, it’s time to prepare for a legal battle.
If a solution is not viable or satisfactory, you’ll need to prepare for trial. Work closely with your attorney to develop a robust defense strategy, gather evidence and line up expert witnesses. Make sure you understand the trial process and your role in it.