ASCE Risk Management Resources

Construction Observation Duties Do Not Make an Engineer Responsible for On-Site Safety

Posted on 10/6/2016 by ASCE Insurance in Liability

It is common for engineers to be named as defendants in lawsuits by construction workers who are injured while working at the construction site. Often, an injured worker’s attorney will name everyone involved in the project and determine who is liable later, or even worse, invent a reason why a party might be liable. As in most circumstances, the engineer’s contract and/or conduct will determine the duties of the engineer and, thus, whether the engineer can possibly have any liability for an on-site construction accident.1

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Claim Retrospective: The Significance of a Global Settlement in Multi-Party Litigation

Posted on 10/6/2016 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Contracts

Why can’t we settle the claim? The answer is often that we cannot obtain a global settlement. Unfortunately, such an answer is not always easy for engineers to understand. As you might imagine, the more parties involved in the litigation, the more difficult it can be to get everyone to agree on a resolution.

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What’s an indemnification provision?

Posted on 6/9/2016 by ASCE Insurance

Next time you sign a contract, look closely for language requiring either you or your client to “indemnify” and/or “hold harmless” from claims by third parties. This type of provision is commonly referred to as an indemnity provision. In general, it requires one party to reimburse the other for losses and/or damages incurred as a result of a claim against that other party. While many contracts contain such provisions, it is important to understand that state law often limits their reach and enforceability. Consequently, whether it is you or your client who has requested an indemnity provision, it is advisable that you check with your legal counsel to verify that the provision is valid under your state’s specific laws.

By Douglas R. Garmager, Esq.

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Know Your Limits — The Consequences of Being Underinsured

Posted on 6/9/2016 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Liability Coverage

Most professionals, including engineers, understand that claims are one of the inevitable costs of doing business. Engineers buy professional liability insurance to ensure that the cost of defense, settlement, and/or liability associated with a claim will not fall predominately on their shoulders.

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Know the Limits of Your Contract

Posted on 4/15/2016 by ASCE Insurance in Construction Contracts

General contractors and developers rarely have insurance covering construction defect claims, and they regularly become insolvent and/or judgment proof after a project is completed. Because of this, homebuyers often attempt to expand the duties of design professionals beyond those imposed by common law or agreed to in a contract. Illinois homebuyers recently attempted to expand the duties and attendant liability of design professionals by arguing the doctrine of implied warranty of habitability applies to design professionals.

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Effective Ways to Handle Claims

Posted on 4/15/2016 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Liability

When claims surface during an ongoing project, engineers are often under pressure to act quickly in order to prevent further damages. However, acting too hastily may jeopardize their insurance coverage. It’s imperative for the engineer to report claims to their professional liability insurance carrier immediately.

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How Document Retention Could Save You

Posted on 12/17/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Documentation

A professional’s inability to produce important evidence during a lawsuit alleging negligence may result in sanctions.1 State law determines whether spoliation of evidence may result in sanctions, and the nature of any sanctions imposed against a party who fails to preserve important evidence can vary greatly by state.

By Terri Stough, Esq.

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Getting to Know Your Retroactive Date

Posted on 12/17/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Coverage Insurance

There are typically two initial timing requirements that must be met in order for there to be a potential for coverage under your professional liability (PL) insurance policy.1 The first requirement is that the claim must be first made (i.e., received by the insured) during the coverage period.

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A Closer Look at Your Reporting Requirements

Posted on 10/15/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Documentation Claims

All professional architects and engineers risk having claims brought against them in relation to their work. Some claims may have merit. However, some professionals can get caught in a wide net cast by a claimant trying to recoup unexpected losses, regardless of actual fault. Notwithstanding the frivolity of a claim, once a case settles or a judgment is rendered, you may be obligated by your state to report the settlement or judgment to your professional board.

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How to Avoid Uncovered Exposure

Posted on 10/15/2015 by ASCE Insurance in Claims Liability Coverage Insurance

Almost all professional liability (PL) insurance policies are written on a claims-made basis. It is important to understand the claims-made nature of your PL policy, as it is a fundamental aspect of your insurance coverage.

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