Posted on: October 8, 2020 by Huntersure LLC.
When it comes to building design and engineering, a simple mistake can cause significant problems down the road. Since engineers are responsible for a building’s design and overall safety, any slip-up could have dire consequences on the public, the workers, and the engineering firm’s reputation and legal status. Lawsuits against engineers related to negligence aren’t rare in the industry, and your clients need protection from potential claims. And while having awareness around engineer professional liability is important, having awareness around the different liabilities that lead to lawsuits is just as crucial.
Here are three common types of lawsuits against engineers.
Most negligence claims against engineers fall into errors and omissions. First is error, meaning that what was designed and built was wrong, and second is omission, meaning that the engineer in charge failed to include something in a design. In essence, if an error or omission ends up costing the client some money, the engineering firm can expect a lawsuit.
Before an engineering client can argue that they’re always careful about their work, they should consider the number of calculations one project might include. From there, they should multiply that number by the number of clients who use their services. This presents a great case for error-free work and engineer professional liability insurance, which pays for legal expenses if a client’s work becomes the source of a problem.
It might seem like a great thing to take on a lot of projects and make connections with a lot of new clients. But it could end up costing your engineering client money and reputational hits in the long run. If a client tries to take on too much work, they’re at a greater risk for lawsuits from dissatisfied customers of their own.
Engineering firms should keep a list of active clients at a manageable level to ensure they don’t have to commit and under deliver. Engineers need time to put the right attention and detail into every project, so being stretched too thin could end up costing them.
Firms that ignore client complaints shouldn’t be surprised about negligence lawsuits that follow. Communication is crucial between engineer and client, especially when it comes to budgeting problems or issues with the timeline.
Architecture and engineering practices work with clients that expect them to meet a standard of care, which focuses on avoiding harm and property damage. But it also includes proper project oversight, meeting the project’s exact needs and specifications.
If an engineering firm falls short of these specifications and expectations, a client may end up accusing them of negligence. Firms need to pay special attention to budget overruns, project delays, and other items that could alter the result of the project.
Another way to avoid negligence is to keep clients in the loop. If a client doesn’t get regular updates, they may assume that nothing is off track. If this isn’t the fact of the matter, and issues pop up far into a project, engineers could expect lawsuits.
Huntersure LLC is a full-service Managing General Agency that has provided insurance program administration for professional liability products to our partners across the United States since 2007. We specialize in providing insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our program features can cover small firms (grossing $2.5 million annually) to large corporations (grossing $25 million annually or more). We make doing business with us easy with our breadth and depth of knowledge of E&O insurance, our proprietary underwriting system that allows for responsive quoting, binding and policy issuance and tailored products to meet the needs of your insureds. Give us a call at (855) 585-6255 to learn more.
Posted in: Architects/ Engineers