Claims Magazine's John Goff posted an informative article outlining recommendations for claims managers in the efficient and effective use of forensic experts. Many of these suggestions are also relevant to the relationship between an attorney and a forensic expert in a construction defect matter. The post specifies five "rules" of engagement:
- Understand Roles and Responsibilities
- Know When to Hire an Expert
- Draft an Effective Assignment Letter
- Learn the Art of Budgeting
- Frequent and Clear Communication Is Key
"It is a simple fact of claim adjusting that even experienced, knowledgeable professionals will encounter claims for which they need the assistance of a forensic expert to reach a settlement. Whether the issues are causation, coverage, or cost, some claims are too complex, specialized, or unusual for an adjuster to tackle on his own. Wise ones know when it’s best to involve an expert.
"But as is true in the beginning of every relationship, engaging a forensic expert is best done with eyes wide open — on both sides. Choosing an expert for the right reasons, with clear expectations, good communication, and a full understanding of the costs involved, is critical to developing a fair and timely outcome for all concerns."