• Document Your Entitlement. Upon notice of delay, extra work, breach of contract or change to the contract, make a written summary of the Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? Keep this for your files and prepare a version to send to the Project Engineer.
  • Track Your Damages. Once the Claim occurs, document and track the extra labor, equipment, material and miscellaneous costs. Make sure they don't contradict your entitlement story (e.g., claiming delay damages for days that you worked on the controlling operation).
  • Keep Your PE Informed. Send written notification of the Entitlement and Damages to INDOT's Project Engineer. Ask the PE to respond in writing, and reserve your right to supplement the information. Update these submittals as needed or on a recurring basis.
  • Check Your Specs. INDOT's contractual claims procedure (while set to be updated) is outdated and vague. There are only a few 'remedy granting' provisions in the specifications that allow the contractor to get paid more than the bid amount. You must find and use these. You must also take note of the "traps" buried in the specifications, including: no damages for delay; notice requirements; and cost recovery caps.
  • Know Your 'Controlling Operation.' If your entitlement facts don't reflect an impact on the 'controlling operation' shown in the Project Engineer's dailies, you may have a problem. Make sure that you know what the controlling operation is and understand how the facts of your claim impact it.
  • Consider Tort Recovery. If INDOT's actions constitute a tort (rather than a breach of contract), then make sure you follow Indiana's Tort Claims Act in addition to the contractual claims provisions.
  • Don't Give Up. Despite what you may hear from INDOT officials, not all claims are barred if you miss one of the items listed above. This is particularly true when INDOT delays the project – which means that you probably don't need a "formal claim" under the current specifications.