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Construction Experts and Claims Consultants Articles List

24 Articles Found

If negotiations are stalled and litigation appears to be the only solution, follow these steps: Re-evaluationRe-evaluate your claim to determine if your demand is realistic. Research and prepare any new facts, explanations, or support. Advise opposition parties of new figures, facts, or other relevant information, and request further discussions based on the new information. New Claim ReviewAsk for a new claim evaluation by an unbiased claim administrator or review team. Be specific about why you want a change. Emphasize your intent to negotiate in good faith. MeetingRequest a senior management meeting between the two parties in dispute. Have senior management meet to exchange viewpoints and to ascertain if any measures could or should be taken in order to settle the dispute without litigation. Senior management should be thoroughly briefed about the issues under discussion, the amounts claimed or counterclaimed, and ...

If negotiations are stalled and litigation appears to be the only solution, follow these steps: Re-evaluationRe-evaluate your claim to determine if your demand is realistic. Research and prepare any new facts, explanations, or support. Advise opposition parties of new figures, facts, or other relevant information, and request further discussions based on the new information. New Claim ReviewAsk for a new claim evaluation by an unbiased claim administrator or review team. Be specific about why you want a change. Emphasize your intent to negotiate in good faith. MeetingRequest a senior management meeting between the two parties in dispute. Have senior management meet to exchange viewpoints and to ascertain if any measures could or should be taken in order to settle the dispute without litigation. Senior management should be thoroughly briefed about the issues under discussion, the amounts claimed or counterclaimed, and ...

Communicating Effectively Few things are as important as the ability to communicate effectively, particularly in construction claim negotiations and litigation. Disputes in the construction arena often involve technical information and damages, especially if indirect damages are incurred, such as productivity losses or delay costs. The party who incurred the damages needs to be able to communicate to the other side why the damages were incurred and the impact certain events had on project costs. Audiences retain visual representations of data with greater accuracy and for a longer period than they do the written or spoken equivalents of the same information. Visual aids, such as graphs, timelines, and tables, are effective with audiences unfamiliar with the project details, who may include upper management, mediators, arbitrators, or jurors. The visual aid needs to bridge the gap between the technical information and basic ...

"I'll see you in court!" Those volatile words are not uncommon when conflicts arise on a construction project. But nobody really wants to be in court. There is an alternative - mediation. Construction projects require contractual interdependence between many parties and frequently the complexity and nature of those relationships lead to conflict. Construction disputes are usually intricate and when they are not resolved, they commonly escalate to legal action involving arbitration or litigation. By the mid-1980s, it was becoming apparent to many that litigation costs were growing exponentially, and that many disputes that reached the legal arena could have been resolved earlier had the parties communicated their issues to each other clearly in a less combative setting. As with many trends, a few pioneers noted the phenomenon and developed an alternative approach to resolving a dispute-one that could be used ...

Negotiation is a process for satisfying needs. People negotiate daily in various situations. Individuals negotiate with others for everything from the cost of a car to the choice of restaurant for dinner. Negotiation is a form of cooperation and leads to compromises acceptable to both sides, bringing business projects to fruition. Many individuals become particularly skilled in negotiation through their life experiences. Others study the traits and techniques of successful negotiators. A select few become expert negotiators in the construction industry. The Qualities of a Professional Negotiator Awareness: Probably the single most important trait of a skilled negotiator is awareness. Negotiators must not only be perceptive of others, they must also be knowledgeable about themselves and the details of the issues under consideration. Negotiators must be able to understand others' reactions and quickly respond in a positive and productive manner. ...

Objective Is Prompt Resolution of Change Orders A claim is an unresolved change order. Fortunately, a change order upon which all parties agree does not become a claim. Change orders that are resolved fairly and quickly benefit both the owner and the contractor by avoiding costly and time-consuming dispute resolution processes such as mediation, arbitration, and/or litigation. Prompt resolution of change orders is essential as this would typically minimize the total project cost to an owner, as well as minimize project delays and disruptions. Change is a normal part of the construction process and typically increases project costs and delays completion. Frequently, contractors submit change orders and owners readily pay for the changes they desire. Other times, however, due to budgetary or other constraints, while the change can be made, additional compensation or more time to complete the work cannot ...

A claim is an unresolved change order. Conversely, a change order that is agreed upon and processed does not become a claim. Change order situations that are resolved knowledgeably, fairly, and promptly will benefit both the owner and the contractor. Federal government studies have shown that early settlement of change order problems minimizes cost to owners. Likewise, contractors benefit by avoiding disruption to their project schedule and cash flow. Know and Use the Contract In a change order situation, the contractor's rights arise from the contract. A contractor's request must be consistent with the contract, or it will likely be denied. Courts can circumvent or overturn contract language, "exculpatory" clauses in particular, but such cases are the exception rather than the rule. Successful management of change orders is based upon knowledge of the contract. Project representatives of the owner, contractor, ...

Contracts, which are intended to eliminate problems, can be the open doorway to disputes and claims. Contracts that are one-sided promote dispute resolution through litigation. Bias in contract language and interpretation leads to increased costs for all parties. The following article suggests ways in which owners and contractors can work toward equitable contracting. Disruptions or Disputes Are Expensive to Both Owners and Contractors Construction contracts are drafted to allocate responsibilities, risks, and remedies between the separate parties. This allocation is based upon the simple fact that someone must be responsible and someone must pay for all elements of the project under that contract. In theory, when changes or unforeseen difficulties arise on a construction project, the allocation of risks established by the construction contract will clearly identify the party who is to pay. Thus, in the case of an owner's ...

The Risks vs. The Benefits Before agreeing to furnish materials for a construction project, owners must evaluate related risks and benefits to factor these into procurement decisions made during the sensitive preparation phase. Unfortunately, while the immediate monetary benefits of using owner-furnished items are easily ascertained, the risks are difficult to quantify. Owners often take on considerable liability in return for small, immediate gains. In effect, owners take on responsibility for timeliness and quality, over which they may have little control. They then can become mired in contract change orders, claims, or even litigation when their plans go astray. Frequently, the additional costs incurred by the contractor and the owner far exceed the potential gain envisioned by the owner through the seemingly helpful and economical act of furnishing contract items. The owner's decision to furnish items that could be procured ...

I. Introduction As experts in construction claims, Interface Consulting evaluates and analyzes a wide array of engineering and construction related disputes. Many of these disputes center around increased costs, project delays, and productivity impacts. This paper discusses the most common problems and claims related to design documents based on our experience dealing with hundreds of projects and thousands of claim issues. Awareness of the most common engineering document-related problems is the first step in planning and preventing these potential issues. As consultants and experts, we are often in the position to review and analyze the project records, (i.e., bids, budgets, contracts, schedules, correspondence, meeting minutes, progress reports, and cost information). These documents tell the "story" of the project and provide information about the root cause of the disputes, (i.e., delays and cost overruns, the responsibility for these problems, the extent ...