Preparing for a Construction Claim

Summary: Preparing a construction claim requires consideration of deadlines and documents.

Construction projects, no matter how well-planned, can find themselves with supply or personnel shortages at any point during crunch time. Accidents also happen, especially when crews are rushing to meet deadlines and are overworked. Construction companies should not ask if a claim will happen, but when.

One of the first steps in construction claim analysis is figuring out what went wrong, and documenting everything that led up to that error. It’s crucial to have excellent record keeping in order to prove a case. Analysts can review your documents and give you some ideas on what to expect when you file a claim. They are not attorneys, but they often have knowledge of the laws related to your case.

Claims can lead to mediation. Most construction consulting services would recommend mediation over standard litigation for a few reasons. Cost is the biggest one. Trial costs both time and money, and may require workers to be away from their posts for appearances related to the case. Mediation is done within a few days in most cases, and usually results in a decision that is amicable on both sides.

Mediators will compare what the claim and evidence state to what the people in the room say, and work with both parties to find a solution that is amicable to each. A claim does not have to end the relationship between the two parties, and it is often cheaper to settle a claim than it would be to litigate over it.


Lyle Charles is a certified expert witness for steel fabrication and construction. Lyle Charles Consulting is available for project management and construction turnaround services.