Blueprints When and Why You Need a Construction Attorney - Alves Radcliffe

Blueprints: When and Why You Need a Construction Attorney

Construction projects are complex. While planning a construction project, you must set out legal boundaries with clear construction contracts. If a dispute arises, you must protect your interests and try to resolve the dispute fairly. 

Even after the project ends, you must be prepared to deal with any issues that arise about the quality of the workmanship. In all these situations, you need a construction attorney to advise and represent you.

The Foundation: Understanding Construction Law

Construction law encompasses many areas of law. Some of the legal fields construction lawyers understand and handle include:

  • Contract law
  • Property law
  • Commercial law
  • Insurance law
  • Environmental law
  • Product liability and injury law
  • Employment and workplace safety law

Most of the legal issues surrounding construction projects involve contract law. Contracts encompass the legal rights and duties that arise from a mutual agreement between two or more parties. Some common contract issues in construction include:

  • Project schedules and penalties for missing deadlines
  • Change orders during construction
  • Construction defects

Construction projects also involve property law. This legal field governs the rights and responsibilities involved in owning and leasing real property. This field of law includes:

  • Zoning compliance
  • Permitting
  • Environmental surveys
  • Neighbor disputes over water use, noise, air pollution, and nuisances

Another area of law involves employment and worker safety. The construction industry has more worker deaths than any other industry. Someone must ensure the job site complies with state and federal workplace regulations. Safe job sites protect workers and avoid construction delays from stop orders from safety inspectors.

Signs You Need a Construction Attorney

A construction lawyer can help at all stages of a project. Some reasons you might need an attorney include:

  • You are negotiating and drafting a construction contract
  • You need a zoning variance
  • A lender or insurer imposes special terms on your project
  • Construction defects are discovered
  • A dispute has arisen with the government, other parties, or workers

In many situations, you will benefit by calling a lawyer, even if you are unsure whether you need one. An hour or two of legal counseling might prevent a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

How a Construction Attorney Acts as Your Blueprint

As you approach your project, remember the old saying about an ounce of prevention. Hiring a lawyer before a dispute arises will often help you keep construction on track.

In many cases, the earlier the lawyer joins the project, the more disputes can be avoided. The lawyer can plan a legal strategy to deal with many issues that arise early in the project, such as:

  • Zoning
  • Lending
  • Insurance
  • Environmental reports
  • Permitting

Without a legal plan, your project might get mired in litigation before shovels even hit the dirt.

Cost-Effective Solutions

You have many options for hiring construction lawyers. If you have an in-house legal department, you can also hire a construction lawyer, as your team needs someone with additional knowledge or experience. 

Another strategy is to meet with a lawyer early in your construction to map out potential legal issues. As you reach each point, you can bring the lawyer into the project.

Pitfalls of DIY

You would never advise a property owner to pour a foundation. By the same token, lawyers would never advise you to handle your legal disputes. Lawyers provide legal knowledge and experience to make sure your issue gets handled correctly. 

Equally importantly, a lawyer takes the burden of your legal issue off your hands so you can focus on your area of expertise.

Finding the Right Construction Attorney

The right construction lawyer will have experience with construction projects. Construction lawyers know the law as well as the construction industry and its customs. The right construction attorney can spot issues before they arise because of their industry experience.

Reducing Delays and Issues

A legal blueprint can reduce the risk of delays and disputes. Contact Alves Radcliffe to discuss your construction project and how we can help you develop a legal strategy.

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