As a property owner overseeing a construction project, the last thing you want to experience is to get involved in a lengthy dispute with a general contractor or one of the special contractors hired by the general contractor. If you find yourself embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with a general or special contractor, an experienced construction attorney can help you prevent financial losses. From a breach of contract to sustaining considerable property damage, a construction attorney works in your best legal interests to receive just compensation for the damages caused by negligence,
Let’s review the four classic situations when a construction attorney will help you avoid costly litigation.
Act as an Intermediary
A construction dispute can cost you a substantial amount of money starting with taking steps to fight back against the filing of a civil lawsuit. The legal fees represent just one of the costs associated with a civil lawsuit. You also have to address the costs associated with your home improvement project coming to a sudden halt. A project delay can cost you tens of thousands of dollars if a construction dispute lasts more than just a few days.
Hiring an experienced construction attorney to act as an intermediary with the general contractor prevents emotions from running wild and tainting any discussions that concern the resolution of the construction dispute. Your lawyer interacts with the general contractor’s attorney to determine whether both sides can reach an agreement to avoid a costly project delay or worse, the end of the residential construction project.
Avoid Receiving a Mechanic’s Lien
Avoiding a civil lawsuit is not the only legal action a homeowner should prevent from happening. You also want to avoid receiving a mechanic’s lien, which is a legal document that allows the general contractor to seek compensation for work already completed on a home improvement project. A mechanic’s lien also can seek money to pay for the materials used for a residential construction project. For instance, if you refuse to pay a general contractor $20,000 for the work done to install windows, the general contractor can file a mechanic’s lien against your property to recover the value of the construction project.
If you receive a mechanic’s lien as part of a home improvement project to help sell your home, the lien makes it highly unlikely that you find a buyer for your property.
Negotiate a Settlement
Most construction disputes never see the light inside a civil courtroom. Instead, both parties hammer out an agreement that results from negotiations. One of the four classic situations when a construction attorney will help you involves negotiating a favorable settlement with the other party involved in the dispute. A civil trial is a costly and time-consuming process that if avoided, can save you a substantial amount of money.
Negotiations start with the submission of an initial offer of compensation followed by one or more rounds of counteroffers until both parties reach a settlement.
Review a Proposed Construction Contract
Before you sign the bottom line of a construction contract, your lawyer from Alves Radcliffe conducts a meticulous review of the contract to ensure it represents your best legal and business interests. General contractors and their attorneys have much more experience writing construction contracts than residential property owners. Hiring a construction attorney ensures you do not miss anything written into the fine print, as well as agree to services that you do not need.
The Bottom Line: Keep a Construction Attorney on Retainer
You do not have to hire a construction attorney to help you with the four classic situations when legal representation is your best option. Keeping a construction attorney on retainer ensures you receive legal support whenever you need it. A legal retainer represents a fee that you pay to secure the future services provided by a lawyer.