What is Considered

The simple answer is; YOUR CONTRACT. But, the answer is not always simple and easy to quantify. Give the following some thought:

Early identification of potential claims is essential to successfully prevail on disputes arising during the course of construction, particularly those involving additional work and compensation. Late identification can cause late notice or even failure to recover.

To effectuate the above recommendations, a simple flow chart or summary of the claims process should be prepared at the start of each project and provided to all of the contractor’s project management personnel. In particular, deadlines and other strict requirements which could result in a waiver of the contractor’s right to assert a claim need to be highlighted. Further, it would be helpful to have in place a written protocol which incorporates standard procedures for the proper handling of potential and/or asserted claims. For example, when a potential claim is identified it would be advisable to immediately create a subject/issue file to compile all communications and project documents which have any relationship to the claim. Further procedures might include a list of proactive actions, such as developing evidence through photographs or video taping, creating a list of individuals with knowledge of the claim, strict deadlines for communicating notice of the claim and/or the contractor’s position, and setting up a separate code to segregate costs related to the claim. Periodic training of management personnel with respect to appropriate claim handling procedures would also be instrumental in creating an ongoing awareness of best practices when confronted with potential claims.

What Constitutes a
Proper Notification?

Clearly identify the cause-and-effect (C&E), IF YOU CAN. When you are not confident that you can identify the C&E, be sure and reserve your rights to amend the notice as soon as the C&E can be clearly and accurately identified. Also provide the following information:

Notice Content Items

Level of Importance



Company & Project Information


Specification Section/Page


Contract Drawing Reference


Site Location


Topic in sufficient detail


Current Status & Reservation of Rights


Photos or Sketches for Clarity


Perceived Impact to Work/Project


Suggested Next Steps


Should We Confirm
Receipt By Notified Party?

Because service of the notice is critical. Best is to hand carry the written notice and get one copy signed and timestamped. If this is not possible, send it by certified email through a reputable company. Lastly, send via certified US mail with return receipt requested. Don't let delivery failure keep you from recovering.

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James G. Zack, Jr.
Executive Director
Navigant Construction Forum,
Navigant Consulting, Inc.


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Impact Documents

Field Work Stoppage

Activity/Task Work Stoppage


Speed Memos/E-mails

Delay Notification

Cost Impact Notification