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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    WESTMINSTER CO
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    1,079

    Default how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    hey all
    just wondering what you all do to save your reports and photos for the money hungry lawyers and vultures out there ---i had one legal issue so far in 430 inspections where the client said he never recieved report and wanted to sue me -you and the kitchen sink that leaked--{ internet doesn't lie on recieved messages}-i save all my reports and photos on a cd--at the end of the month--or when i get a day off----lately not to many of those--business is hopping here in sunny colorado--where the skiing is also great not to mention the golf---i can always SH#@ CAN the cd's after the seven year tax time table--let me know

    charlie

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    hey all
    just wondering what you all do to save your reports and photos for the money hungry lawyers and vultures out there ---i had one legal issue so far in 430 inspections where the client said he never recieved report and wanted to sue me -you and the kitchen sink that leaked--{ internet doesn't lie on recieved messages}-i save all my reports and photos on a cd--at the end of the month--or when i get a day off----lately not to many of those--business is hopping here in sunny colorado--where the skiing is also great not to mention the golf---i can always SH#@ CAN the cd's after the seven year tax time table--let me know

    charlie
    If your state has a retention requirement you need to follow it.

    Otherwise I would think that you should keep files for 3-5 years. Personally I keep everything in an electronic format pretty much forever or until that electric format becomes damaged. Some keep multiple storage systems and files in a couple locations so if one is damaged they still have everything. Personally, I keep everything in one location on a backup hard drive.

    Lately I have been giving serious consideration to using an online type storage company for my files. Most that I have seen run about $50 to $100 a year depending on your needs.

    My files are nothing more than the report. I do not keep extra photos or notes. If you are sued all of those extra notes and photos could come back to haunt you, if you did screw-up.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Park City, Utah
    Posts
    1,530

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    Charlie,
    This is totally off your subject but maybe you can help me out. I am having trouble posting messages, how in the hell do you do it.

    Mat


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,829

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Charlie,
    This is totally off your subject but maybe you can help me out. I am having trouble posting messages, how in the hell do you do it.

    Mat
    I think you have figured it out!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    I made it a practice to take a number of photos during my inspections (pre-digital age) and yet never used any within my reports. After I got them back from Walgreens or Longs I kept what I considered the significant ones including all the negatives. I also kept all my field notes; who was there, what was said, odd occurrences, etc. Scanned as many as possible and like Scott burned them on CDs. Couple of times they shut down a legal action such as when a client claimed the home was vacant and my photos showed mucho furniture and stored personal items. Many times a pack-rat seller has loaded their foundation crawl space, attic and/or garage so that one can’t visually see much of anything... Visual evidence is very strong in a court of law and usually when the claimant’s attorneys see such evidence their case goes away. California has a 4 year statue of limitations beginning from the date of inspection. Every 4 years is shredding day for CA inspectors and 4 years after retiring from the trenches is truly a day of celebration. For those that quit business or retire don’t forget to get “tail” coverage for your E&O insurance if you didn’t have an “Occurrence” type policy.

    Claims Made vs Occurrence

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Treasure Coast
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    I have every inspection I have done since 99 in a folder on my desktop. It automatically gets backed up every day, so it is also on my back up drive.

    I have a CD that I add the inspections to each month, including pictures. I keep all of the CDs and they are also copied. My reports are done in Publisher and then converted to PDF.

    I all, I have 8 copies of every report. Since I e mail all of my reports, I save the sent e mails on my AOL account, and those too can be downloaded and automatically backed up. That would be 2 more copies!

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  7. #7

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    I upload them to the homgauge site where they are kept for 5 years.

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,286

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    Charlie,

    I backup everything on an additional hard drive. Each inspection gets it's own folder with the report and all the pics. You can get a 500GB external drive for about $150 and a 1TB external drive for about $250. Cheap insurance.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    I save everything on my hard drive and then to an additional portable hard drive once a week.

    Another thing that I do that you might want to try is I opened up a G Mail account (Google) that you get a unbelievable amount of space on.

    Everytime I email a inspection report, I'll also BCC a copy to my G mail account. That way if I'm out and need to access my reports I can go easily to that account and resend something or make a change if need be. I also put each inspection report along with the pictures in a zip folder with the buyers name, the address so it can be easily found and put in the email to myself. I'm using their space at Google for a back-up you might say.

    Its free, take advantage of it.

    rick


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,330

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    I have every inspection I have ever done (since 1989). Up until a few years ago, they were in paper format, so there are several file boxes per year.
    Since I moved to electronic reporting, I save reports on hard drive, back up to monthly c/d's, then back up quarterly, then again at the end of the year. I also back up to an external hard drive.

    I have not taken the time or trouble to also put a back up off site, so if my house burns down - it's all gone. But then, that's the story of just about anything for a business that was involved with Katrina, or the World Trade Center. Sorry, it's just gone. I think that even if I had back ups at the bank safe deposit box during Katrina, they still would have been lost (if I was there).

    I just can't bring myself to destroy the old stuff. I probably will this spring when I get down to the basement and start changing stuff around. I have way too many file boxes stacked up.

    As far as legal work goes - I keep everything involved with my work in a separate folder with everything I used to prepare my report. For example, if I refer to the Simpson catalog, I keep a copy of the pages used. I keep a c/d of the photos used, etc. I also keep a record of telephone data, etc. A lot of it is NOT electronic with the EW work.

    JF


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    External hard drive, and separate internal hard drive. I haven't burned to a CD in three years now. I just bought a scanner/printer today. I'm going to try scanning my agreement forms into the hard drive so I don't have to save the paper files as well. One of these days I'm going to buy a second external hard drive to store at my friends house, and rotate back and forth.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,079

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    gunnar

    i like that side hard drive thing--will save the cd cost---thanks to everyone
    charlie


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: how do you save your reports and photos for the legal issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I have every inspection I have ever done (since 1989). Up until a few years ago, they were in paper format, so there are several file boxes per year.
    Since I moved to electronic reporting, I save reports on hard drive, back up to monthly c/d's, then back up quarterly, then again at the end of the year. I also back up to an external hard drive.

    I have not taken the time or trouble to also put a back up off site, so if my house burns down - it's all gone. But then, that's the story of just about anything for a business that was involved with Katrina, or the World Trade Center. Sorry, it's just gone. I think that even if I had back ups at the bank safe deposit box during Katrina, they still would have been lost (if I was there).

    I just can't bring myself to destroy the old stuff. I probably will this spring when I get down to the basement and start changing stuff around. I have way too many file boxes stacked up.

    As far as legal work goes - I keep everything involved with my work in a separate folder with everything I used to prepare my report. For example, if I refer to the Simpson catalog, I keep a copy of the pages used. I keep a c/d of the photos used, etc. I also keep a record of telephone data, etc. A lot of it is NOT electronic with the EW work.

    JF
    Yep, I lost many files and items when Katrina took part of our roof off when I lived in Jackson, MS. Not much you can do, and in some ways it could even be a blessing!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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