Prevention is better than a cure.
The phrase, which is often attributed to the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, represents one of the standard operating principles of contemporary healthcare systems in the United States and throughout the world. As a property owner, the phrase also has special relevance when it comes to dealing with disputes that arise with a general contractor in charge of a construction project. To prevent a construction dispute from disrupting the progress made on a project, keeping a construction attorney on retainer can help you save both time and money.
Let’s take a look at five examples of a construction attorney from Alves Radcliffe saving you time and money on projects.
Provide Consultation for a Construction Contract
One of the most common reasons why property owners find themselves involved in construction disputes concerns the wording of a project contract. An experienced and knowledgeable construction lawyer carefully reads a proposed contract to ensure you receive the utmost legal protections. General contractors and their legal counsels have more experience creating project contracts than the experience brought to the negotiating table by property owners.
Hiring a construction attorney ensures you level the legal playing field with a general contractor.
Intervenes as an Intermediary
If you do not hire a construction attorney to represent you, the general contractor overseeing your project might try to prolong a construction dispute to receive more compensation. Retaining a construction lawyer demonstrates to a general contractor and the contractor’s lawyer that you are serious about protecting your legal interests, which can help you avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.
Your construction attorney handles all legal matters, which frees up your time to take care of other project issues.
Reach a Settlement
The last thing that you want is to participate in a civil trial to recover the financial losses associated with a construction project. An experienced construction lawyer can negotiate a settlement that helps you avoid a costly and time-consuming civil trial. Negotiations can begin at any time during the litigation process, such as before filing a lawsuit or during the discovery phase of a trial.
Your construction attorney submits an offer, which the other party can either accept or reject. Several rounds of counteroffers might follow the initial offer.
Prevent Receiving a Mechanic’s Lien
The general contractor overseeing your project has the legal right to file a mechanic’s lien, which represents a legal document demanding payment for the work already completed on your construction project. This includes covering the costs associated with labor and materials. For example, if you do not pay the $50,000 already spent by a general contractor on roofing materials as the result of a construction dispute, the general contractor can file a mechanic’s lien to recover the cost of the roofing materials.
If you receive a notice of a mechanic’s lien filed against your property, you can expect to have a difficult time selling your home after you put it on the market.
Refer a General Contractor
An experienced and knowledgeable construction attorney can help you by referring a general contractor to manage your project. This approach is the most effective way to save both time and money because you work with a proven team of contractors that have developed a positive reputation in the construction industry. Receiving a referral for a general contractor is one of many reasons why it is important to keep a construction attorney on retainer.