Understanding and Preventing Engineer Negligence Claims

When someone or some company hires an engineer there are a particular set of expectations already set in motion. Engineers come with many years of expertise and skill and consumers trust them to meet the duty and care they originally plan for.

But sometimes not everything goes according to plan and mistakes are made on account of negligence. This is when engineers professional liability insurance comes in handy for engineers and architects as the homeowner or business who hired the engineer could make a claim, taking them to court and potentially devastating everything they’ve worked for.

What is Engineer Negligence?

It’s not just large firms that are taxed for negligence. In fact small firms that bring in about half a million dollars in revenue are just as susceptible. Engineer professional negligence is when an engineer or architect fails to perform the responsibilities they’ve been contracted to do. Someone who makes a claim against an engineer on account of negligence has to prove they were owed a duty of care by the engineer, the engineer breached that duty of care, and the negligence caused a financial loss.

Roles Engineers Play

There are four kinds of engineers that can typically work on a project. Duties differ depending on the type of project, but regardless of their role they can be sued for negligence.

  • Mechanical and electrical engineers oversee installation, repair and maintenance of machinery and systems, not usually in construction settings.
  • Civil and structural engineers do operate in construction and are heavily involved with the design and supervision on a site.

Engineers face a lot of pressure on their day-to-day tasks, and mistakes should be prepared for. But whether it’s a big mistake or large one, there are many ways they can be held responsible for negligence. The reason for such a harsh understanding is that their work is linked to the overall health and safety procedures in a project.

Negligence Claims

From providing incorrect designs to failing to follow industry standards, there are a number of reasons an engineer can have a claim brought against them. Here are a few more examples:

  • The engineer made incorrect calculations;
  • Incorrect advice was given by the engineer in a report;
  • Inspection was not done thoroughly, affecting the overall project.

Overall, the main consequence of negligence by an engineer or architect is financial loss to the client. Significant delays caused by an engineer’s mistakes could end up costing the client valuable rental payments, for instance. Other concerns when it comes to negligence include miscalculation on a construction project causing a building to be unsafe for use and failing to inspect work which results in breaching health and safety regulations.

It’s important to know the role of an engineer on a construction project or when they are expected to perform certain tasks. Knowing what’s at stake, including finances and overall health, will help to keep all parties transparent with each other.

About Walker & Associates

At Walker & Associates Insurance, we have been a leader in helping to protect businesses and families since 1960. Our coverages are written to cover your business inside out. For more information, we invite you contact us today at (800) 213-7126.