December 30, 2019 Articles

Construction Defense 101—It’s All about the Budget

Best practices for defense counsel when working with insurance adjusters in construction cases

By Robert W. Wilkins

A typical construction project involves the owner, the design professionals (architects and engineers), the general contractor, and numerous subcontractors. When something goes wrong and litigation ensues, there are many potential defendants. Which of these defendants you represent affects how you evaluate your litigation strategy. Regardless whom you represent, one challenge is universal: working with the insurance adjuster on your litigation budget. This article provides some best practices for working with an insurance adjuster in the defense of a commercial construction case, specifically (1) how to prepare a litigation budget; (2) how and when to change and update the budget and how to deal with the adjuster’s challenges to such changes; and (3) how to budget for the type and extent of insurance coverage, especially when dealing with an eroding policy, which is common in construction litigation.

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