From the start of the job to when the last truck leaves, it is vital to have visual documentation.

The papers have been served. Your company faces a large suit for faulty installation and poor workmanship. The other side boasts of having damaging evidence against your company. You know the truth — the damage was not a result of your work. Feel helpless? Feel defenseless?

An object used on vacation and during holidays can be your first tool of defense in presenting the facts and true history of the project. From the start of the job to when the last truck leaves, it is vital to have visual documentation. Start by taking photos or video footage of the project site before work begins. Throughout the job and once it is complete, capture images from all angles and address all comments and concerns daily. Compile this information into a job photo-book not only to assist in defending your claim, but also to provide a visual timeline of the project.

The advancements in multimedia technology have enabled individuals and companies on a budget the chance to create visual aides that are clear and concise. Our law firm has relied on the use of digital cameras, camcorders and various computer software to provide an optical history of a job that can be utilized during settlement discussion, mediation and even trial. More and more, courts across the nation are allowing attorneys to bring technology into the courtrooms, and the power of this media is significant.

With advancements in multimedia equipment, digital cameras can store hundreds of images that can be accessed with a click of a mouse. Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint provides the presentation format needed to visually display the images and any other multimedia materials. Presentation software is a good investment and also easy to learn if no one in your company has experience.

Safran Law Offices is working with many of our clients to introduce this technology to their projects, not just for that long-shot chance that there will be a problem, but also to assist them in support for change orders, obtaining time extensions, and a host of other issues. While there are some highly sophisticated software packages that require specially trained operators, the technology for the basic system has come so far that anyone who can operate a camera can use it.

By being proactive throughout projects, you and your company will be prepared to fight against lawsuits, support your claims for extra costs and time extensions, and defend yourself — at little cost — from claims made against you.