For Commercial Damage Matters, Numbers Are Not Enough

Effective presentation of damages reflect a skill set honed from experience in the courtroom or other venues. An expert must clearly demonstrate, both visually and verbally, how the responsible party was determined and then link the issues to the damages, which are impacted by contractual relationships and project facts.
David Bones, Partner, HKA

The impact of construction problems, such as delays, cost overruns and accidents, extend beyond the delivery of a project. Economic consequences, such as increased financing costs, loss of profits, diminution in the value of a business or brand, and lost opportunity costs, are all potential losses when evaluating commercial damages. A persuasive case that connects the value of these losses and its root cause is the key to a successful outcome.

Calculating the loss is where it starts, but effectively communicating the link between causal factors and that loss can be just as important as accurate numbers. These causal factors might come from expert testimony or from an assumption of liability, however the connection should be articulated. You can be the smartest expert in the room, but if the data is not presented in a manner that is clear and persuasive, your claim won’t prevail.

If the data is not presented in a manner that is clear and persuasive, your claim won’t prevail.

The audience hearing and ruling on the claim, which might be a dispute review board or a jury of peers, is not made up of damages experts. Each individual has a different level of understanding of construction projects and impacts related to delays, so spreadsheets filled with numbers should be boiled down to easily digestible concepts.

Effective presentation of damages reflect a skill set honed from experience in the courtroom or other venues. An expert must clearly demonstrate, both visually and verbally, how the responsible party was determined and then link the issues to the damages, which are impacted by contractual relationships and project facts.

Effective communication and presentation of the project issues are just as important as the calculations.

Originally published in Law & Risk Mitigation Today

This publication presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the author and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. 

Effective presentation of damages reflect a skill set honed from experience in the courtroom or other venues. An expert must clearly demonstrate, both visually and verbally, how the responsible party was determined and then link the issues to the damages, which are impacted by contractual relationships and project facts. ”
David Bones, Partner, HKA
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