WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CLAIM OR CIRCUMSTANCE THAT MAY LEAD TO AN ACTUAL CLAIM
DESIGNPRO WANTS TO HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR LOSSES. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL US WHENEVER YOU HAVE A QUESTION. THE FOLLOWING SHOULD ALSO ASSIST YOU IN EVENT OF A CLAIM OR POTENTIAL CLAIM INCIDENT.
- Contact DESIGNPRO immediately should you receive a lawsuit or claim demand. We will need copies of the lawsuit or a claim or demand for money or extra services.
- DESIGNPRO will notify your professional liability insurance carrier. A claims representative from the insurance company will contact you upon receipt of notification, and will assign a claims adjustor and a law firm for your defense. If you want to use a specific law firm or attorney, now would be the time to make your recommendation.
- In addition to an actual lawsuit or claim demand, if a potential claim circumstance or incident occurs, contact DESIGNPRO immediately as well. The insurance carrier can be notified to determine the best course of action and quite possibly, you may need legal assistance. (This proactive initiative may avoid an actual claim or lawsuit.)
- Whenever possible, take photographs or video of the site, building or area involving the claim or potential claim incident. Do not make any verbal or written statements to others after the claim or circumstance, even when you believe these statements are “off-the-record.”
- Gather your documentation, contractual agreement, correspondence, field notes, etc., which your insurance carrier’s claim adjustor and your legal counsel will want to review. Properly documented files can be very significant. Once a “problem” is discovered, begin your documentation process, including narratives of telephone conversations, correspondence, field notes, etc. You should communicate only with your insurance carrier’s claim adjustor and/or your legal counsel, unless specifically otherwise advised to do so. All communications to your legal counsel should conspicuously labeled “Attorney Client Privilege,” which should protect your communications with your legal counsel from discovery in litigation.
- Stay involved in the defense. If you are not satisfied with legal counsel or the manner in which the claim is progressing, notify DESIGNPRO.
- You are vicariously liable for sub-consultants. Always use sub-consultants that have professional liability insurance coverage adequate for the scope of the project. (Secure a Certificate of Insurance from each sub-consultant.)
- Always use some written form of contractual agreement with your client and/or sub-consultant. This includes projects where you are providing free services (pro bono projects), or modifications to your agreements’ terms and conditions and/or your scope of services.
- Indemnification Agreements should be reviewed by your legal counsel, DESIGNPRO and/or your professional liability insurance carrier.
- Never accept Limitation of Liability Clauses from your sub-consultant.
- Of course, never admit liability and do not attempt to settle the claim on your own, even though you believe the perceived damages may be well within your professional liability insurance policy’s deductible. Actual damages may be determined later to be a much larger amount, and you could be responsible for that greater difference. (This could be a waiver and eliminate your insurance coverage).
DESIGNPRO IS YOUR RISK MANAGER. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.