The construction negligence protocol and claims in contract and tort

31st January 2015 by

If you are considering a claim for compensation because of the professional negligence of a construction contractor, you should be aware that there is a protocol for all construction and engineering disputes – including for work performed by architects and quantity surveyors.

The protocol is approved by the courts and aims to facilitate the early exchange of evidence between disputing parties so that expensive and lengthy litigation can be avoided – correct use of the protocol can also help clarify which matters are crucial to a dispute and thereby reduce the amount of time wasted on distractions and extraneous issues.

The majority of professional negligence construction claims which are brought in front of a judge come before the Technology and Construction Court. There are many advantages to having a specialist court division to hear these cases, not least because they are incredibly well-versed in all the legal and technical issues which are often critical to a claim’s outcome.

For example, judges have in-depth and specialised knowledge of important pieces of relevant legislation such as the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994, the Defective Premises Act 1972, and the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.

Where appropriate, cases may be referred for court-enforceable adjudication. Although these are cheaper and less time-consuming than court proceedings, they are still binding and should always be treated as such.

Tort or contract?

If you are looking to make a claim against a construction professional, the starting point for considering the viability of your claim will always be the contract you had with the professional – examining details such as the nature of the required services, the terms under which the services were to be carried out and all the contract’s ramifications, both express and implied.

Some contracts might demand greater duties of care than would be considered typical, while others might lessen these duties – it is important to map any such distinctions.

However, duties of care owed in contract are not everything – there are also duties owed in tort. Professionals frequently assume some responsibility even without a contract expressing as such, and there are numerous examples of claimants securing compensation for negligence in tort.

Talk to Healys LLP today if you wish to consider the possible viability of your claim for professional negligence in construction.

Healys LLP in London and Brighton

Brighton and London professional negligence lawyers, Healys LLP, can help you make a claim for full compensation in the event that you suffered financial loss attributable to the negligence of a construction professional such as an architect, engineer, contractor, or surveyor.

For an initial evaluation of your circumstances talk to our specialists today. We provide a full and realistic assessment of your chances as well as any costs likely to be associated with your case.