All construction projects come with the risk of disputes. A dissatisfied client might have higher expectations than realistic, and demand for more than you’ve created. A subcontractor might hit a water pipe and, when the client raises a complaint, blame you for failure to provide information. Some disputes can be solved with negotiations, but when the stakes are high, you’ll need a construction attorney to help.
Below are 4 common construction law disputes you could face as a contractor:
- Contract Disputes
You could try negotiating with a client who accuses you of breaching your contract or leaving it unfulfilled. Some clients are willing to drop the dispute for additional services or repairs without extra cost. However, if the client demands something that would cost more time or money than you have to spare, reach out to a general consultant in construction litigation to thoroughly investigate and determine the best solution.
- Collections Disputes
All construction projects have the risk of collection disputes, including payment collection and construction liens. Clients might refuse to pay or challenge you on unforeseen extra costs. If you’ve tried negotiation and the only solution seems to be a construction lien, locking down their property title until they pay you, they could take court action. If negotiation doesn’t work, your attorney might recommend longer payment periods or additional services.
- Indemnity Disputes
It can be quite common to dispute who is responsible for damage incurred during construction. Despite what your contract says, it might not be as clear as blaming a specific person. Subcontractors might accuse suppliers, while the property owners might accuse you, the general contractor, for something a subcontractor did.
For larger projects with multiple players, your dispute might extend to suppliers, manufacturers, and others. You could face multiple accusations from multiple people that could take months to sort out on your own. As plainly stated indemnity clauses are in contracts, they’re complex in action.
- Liability Disputes
Even when following your state laws and regulations, you could stumble with liability disputes. You could follow every guideline and fall victim to a tool malfunction or misstep on a roof. Accidents can also happen to people near the construction zone.
Your liability clauses are a basic guide to approaching liability issues, but court could still be an issue. You could be sued for negligence, improper construction, or anything else that makes you liable.
It’s safest to navigate construction law disputes with an experienced construction attorney. If you find yourself in need of help, reach out to your local attorney.