Importance of Keeping Proper Documentation in Case of Litigation
By Nathan | Posted on January 7th, 2015
No one wants to be the subject of construction litigation. And yet, there's no denying that we live in a litigation-crazed society. Even children will jokingly shout, "We'll sue!" if they can't have their way.
Certainly, no one in the construction industry is amused by litigation. And given the many disciplines falling within this field, it's not surprising to learn that this industry is one of the most commonly sued ones.
Not all lawsuits can be anticipated and prevented, of course. Firms can certainly try to avoid them by making sure that all projects come with qualified, well trained workers, well maintained equipment, and safety protocols that are adhered to by all. But it may surprise some to learn that many construction project lawsuits revolve around disputed paperwork. This questioned paperwork can range from scopes of work to safety briefings to employee attendance. It's obviously in the interest of a construction firm to keep detailed, up to date written information on every aspect of a project. But if a firm has to chronicle literally every nut and bolt used on a project, that's a lot of paper! In the past in litigations, boxes of documents were moved from hand to hand where files were often lost and damaged.
Today, to insure that multiple parties can view documents quickly in a litigation, those documents are often professionally scanned. But aside from the cost of scanning thousands of pages, unnecessary pages often end up being scanned as well, making it part of the legal document and further slowing down the process.
Supervisors and managers can personally oversee every page of the paper-to-electronic conversion personally, of course. Or they could have saved time and money by using Raken.
Raken is construction management software that allows daily reporting, various types of daily logs, and other paperwork to be both entered and viewed on laptops and devices. Professional looking, easy to read reports can be read and downloaded by multiple parties, without the fear of loss and damage that comes from sharing original paper documents. It's also possible to store these files for up to ten years on Raken, cutting down on the need for conventional storage and loss of space.
And since proper documentation is essential for successful litigation defense, the knowledge that a firm has compact, complete, and professional paperwork on its side may well discourage potential plaintiffs from even filing lawsuits, meaning more time spent on a site, and less in a courtroom.