Construction disputes can be daunting for all involved parties, whether defendant or plaintiff. As disputes build up to lawsuits or legal action, you face the uncertainty of where you’ll end up. You might find yourself at a negotiation table or in a courtroom. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the legal world alone if you partner with a construction attorney.
If you’re facing any of the below situations, now is a good time to find an attorney.
If you’re suing or being sued
Contact a construction attorney or general consultant with construction expertise if lawsuits are involved. Standing alone on any side of a legal battle without a litigation professional can expose you to more damage. If you are the party being sued, a lawyer can identify cross-claims that allow you, the defendant, to sue the plaintiff for an issue related to the main case. If you are the party suing, a lawyer will work to keep your case airtight and fight against any cross-claims the defendant might raise.
Even if lawsuits haven’t been filed and they are merely hanging in the air as a threat, a lawyer can assist you in determining possible liabilities. Not all lawsuit threats manifest, and sometimes they’re merely thrown out to intimidate or force action. If any seem credible or likely to play out, you’ll want a legal expert on your side to get through the ensuing legal battle.
If your negotiations have stalled
The typical first step to approaching disputes is negotiations. If the property owner initiates the dispute, the contractor might offer additional or discounted future services, adjust the project cost, or offer alternatives. If the roles are reversed and the contractor sues because of the owner’s inability to meet payments, a common type of construction dispute faced by contractors, the owner might promise full payment spread out over a longer period.
Sometimes these negotiations work out, but sometimes one or both parties won’t budge and progress hits a wall. A lawyer versed in construction litigation can jumpstart negotiations and help both parties reach a common ground without sacrificing your best interests. In the case the negotiations transform into a lawsuit, a lawyer will be necessary to minimize your risk exposure and give you a higher chance of success in court.
If you’re dealing with a jobsite injury
It’s in your best interests to find an attorney if you’re facing a jobsite injury. These claims can get complicated very quickly when construction workers’ compensation is involved. You can try to keep these disputes out of the courtroom, but in many cases that simply isn’t possible. That’s why it’s important to find a qualified attorney as soon as the dispute begins to intensify. Once momentum builds, you could be dropped into an unfamiliar legal situation with little to no warning.
Regardless of the dispute, if you feel legal challenges could quickly arise, it’s good to have a construction attorney on your contact list. Preparation can make a huge difference, especially when you’re involved with a major construction project.
Alves Radcliffe, LLP — Construction Attorney
If you need assistance with an indemnity clause in your construction contract, call Alves Radcliffe, LLP at 916-333-3375 or send us an email. We have over 25 years of combined experience, and serve clients throughout Greater Sacramento, Northern California, and the San Francisco Bay Area.