Construction Disputes & Litigation
The construction industry operates on a web of contractual relationships created and defined by bids, prime contracts, sub contracts, specifications, illustrations, bonds, and labor agreements. It is a large tent that covers public and private projects where the duties and obligations for all parties are established by contracts. A construction project can be a garage conversion, a hotel, a bridge, solar wind farms or a refinery. The specific design embodies the vision of a project owner into the actual physical existence. But such ventures are often ripe for disputes and conflicts for many of the involved parties including the owner, designer and/or contractor. Claims can crop up before, during and after the completion of the project. When parties cannot reconcile their differences, the result is often litigation.
Construction litigation typically involves multiple parties including engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, property owners, construction supervisors, design professionals, and material suppliers. Construction litigation attorneys represent construction professionals in legal matters ranging from breaches of contract, construction defects and delays, and contract disputes.
Generally, construction conflicts occur because either the contractor or the owner breach the contract. According to the Global Construction Disputes 2017 Report, the most common causes of contract disputes in North America are:
- Errors and/or omissions in contracts
- Poorly drafted or incomplete/unsubstantiated claims/li>
- Failure to properly carry out the contractual terms
Avoiding Construction Litigation
Although disputes can be resolved outside the legal courts, some can be averted completely. Let’s review some tips that may help prevent potential construction litigation:
- Manage all pertinent documents during the project phase – contractors and suppliers should have a document storage protocol for storing information in an organized manner
- Dedicate ample time negotiating and reviewing all contracts, for solid comprehension – failure to understand contracts is common in the construction industry
- Establish realistic schedules and maintain enough flexibility for possible defects or anticipated disruptions
- Discuss critical problems during in-person meetings, not by email
- Conduct all contractual obligations within the established time frame
- Use technology such as reputable construction management software to increase effective communication and information sharing among the project’s multiple parties
However, not all disputes can be avoided or resolved smoothly. It may be necessary to contact a trusted and highly-credentialed construction litigation attorney to help you navigate any conflicts. Stokes O’Brien’s legal specialists possess the necessary experience and depth to assist individuals and businesses involved in construction disputes. Our attorneys counsel clients on projects of varying size and complexity.
We oversee numerous types of claims for the construction industry including:
- Cost disputes
- Design errors
- Bidding mistakes, protests, contract breaches
- Mechanic’s liens and payment issues
- Defect claims
- Delay and disruption claims, cost accounting claims, surety matters
Our construction litigation lawyers help to minimize risks, difficulties, and fees with as little disruption as possible to the overall construction project. We will help you address any construction claim issues throughout California. Learn more about the types of construction claims we handle and contact us at (619) 696-0017 to schedule a free consultation today.