Construction projects are complicated. They involve large amounts of money, huge amounts of raw materials and resources, and many moving parts in the form of construction crews, management teams, inspectors, and stakeholders. That’s why most construction projects are very closely monitored and scrutinized. It also means that when a claim is contemplated in the construction field, the key to success is preparation.
Claims preparation involves more than simple data acquisition and expert witness consultation, however; the true to key successful construction claims preparation in Alabama is demonstrating a clear and obvious cause and effect between construction decisions andthe damages suffered.
The Role of Cause and Effect in Construction Claims Preparation
This goes beyond simply demonstrating that the claimant has in fact suffered damages. Damages can be caused by a variety of factors, and simply proving that, for example, a low-quality material was used in the construction project and that the claimant suffered damages is not sufficient. A clear and indisputable link must be made between these two facts. As a result, good construction claims preparation in Alabama consists of three basic steps:
- Diligence: The facts must be defined and proven beyond any doubt, i.e., the type of materials or other impacting decisions and the damages suffered.
- Link: The two aspects must be linked via evidence, not simply logic and conjecture.
- Substantiation: Data and expert witnesses must be engaged to support claims and extrapolate damages.
The complicating factor is that often, damages can result from construction decisions that are not, technically, against code or illegal in any way. This means that it is necessary to demonstrate bad faith, not simply poor construction practice, and to show the claimant was not a decision maker.