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Forensic investigations may assist in design defect claims

Construction projects require multiple individuals and companies to play a role in getting the structure erected. While most projects are completed without any issues, there are times when problems arise. Unfortunately, allegations of malpractice might be waged against the design professionals who worked on the project, but those individuals and firms might not be the source of the problem.

When you have someone accusing you of design professional malpractice, your goal is to protect your company and your reputation. This isn’t always easy, but you must get started on your defense without a delay. One thing for you to consider is that you might need to conduct a forensic investigation to determine the underlying issue that caused the defect.

Many times, when the design professional is being accused of misconduct, the problem is traced to other causes. The majority of these aren’t the fault of the design professional because they occur after the plans for the project are handed off to the construction team. These can include:

  • Poor oversight of subcontractors and workers
  • Substandard material substitutions approved by the contractor or as requested by the owner
  • Failure to follow the design plans as written and specified
  • Attempts to circumvent applicable codes, standards and regulations
  • Hiring of unqualified workers or failing to hire consultants

While these issues might be initially attributed to errors on the part of the design professional, they should actually fall under material or workmanship defects or poor project management. In these cases, you shouldn’t be held legally or professionally accountable for the problems. Working on your defense for these matters as quickly as possible can help to reduce the impact it has on your career.