As with any industry, things can go wrong with construction projects. Mistakes, negligence, poor materials, these can all lead to problems with the finished building. But some of these problems can have devastating consequences that not only have financial repercussions but can also lead to injuries or fatalities.
And the construction industry can also experience issues with disputes and contracts. With so many contractors and subcontractors involved in most projects, it is little wonder that disagreements occur. When a problem appears in the construction industry, you want to be able to find a law firm to represent you who has experience in these areas and who can help you resolve issues.
What Areas of Law Will a Construction Lawyer Cover?
There are two main areas construction lawyers work in. The first is the area of construction defects. This can cover everything from a developer or homeowner unhappy with the standards of a finished project to circumstances where any defects have led to major financial loss or to injuries or even death.
More common is the area of dispute resolution and helping to draw up construction contracts. A competent lawyer from Michigan Premier Law, P.C. can help ensure that any contract drawn up contains all the relevant clauses to protect you and your business.
With an in depth knowledge of construction law at the local, state, and federal levels, our law firm can identify issues before they happen. Or where there are disputes during construction, they can help resolve them, negotiate on your behalf or represent you in court if necessary. They can also deal with payment issues that arise during or after the project is completed.
The laws governing the construction industry can be complicated at times. With several layers of laws and regulations, if you are undertaking a construction-related project, then you want to ensure that the project complies with all relevant laws and building codes to prevent disputes later. And in many cases, such as if you are a real estate developer, you may be working to set timeframes for your project. So you will want to insert time-related clauses into any contract such as penalties for late completion etc.
By having a clearly set out contract with all relevant clauses, it gives strength to any dispute case you may have down the line. And with easily identifiable payment terms and dates, there can be no excuses for you not receiving, or making required payments. With overall costs in projects running into many millions of dollars, many companies cannot afford to be in positions where they lose large amounts of money.
If you wish to terminate a contract, your lawyer can advise whether your actions are justifiable and whether your decision will incur any penalties. Or, if another party cancels a contract with you, then they can advise whether you have grounds for a claim against that party. Your lawyer can represent you at any stage or level of the contract cancellation process.
What Action Can They Take?
When any legal issues arise with due payments, either during or after construction, then you want to know that your lawyer has significant experience and can resolve any problems quickly. Initial action will be to contact the offending party by letter informing them of their obligations and possible actions. They will then arrange a meeting to try and negotiate settlement of the fees in one lump sum or even installments. If these steps are unsuccessful, then it will be time to move to more direct action.
Your lawyer will identify if payment bonds are in place so that some of the outstanding amount can be collected. Another option is what is called a mechanic’s liens. This allows the aggrieved party to place a claim on property such as machinery.
Bids and Proposals
Another area where good legal advice can be of great help is if your company is making a bid or proposal to win a major construction project. These can often be complicated as the bid will have to adhere to all the usual laws and regulations, will have to promise certain levels of quality, adhere to timeframes, and be cost effective as far as total costs are concerned.
While construction companies may have extensive knowledge and experience of materials, labor, and costs, they are often less aware of some of the intricacies of the accompanying legal process. By hiring a construction lawyer to help draw up their proposal document, they increase their chances of success.
How Do I Identify a Good Construction Attorney?
As with any area of the law, you want to find an attorney with a good reputation, and someone who has extensive experience in working with construction businesses. Competency is not just about what your lawyer learned at law school. Any attorney is constantly learning and most of their learning comes from experience.
Many clients come to Michigan Premier Law, P.C. on the recommendation of our previous clients in the construction sector. If you search online and look at law firms’ websites, make sure they list construction law as one of the areas they work in. Also look to see if you can find any online reviews of the firm’s services.
Michigan Premier Law, P.C. offers a free initial consultation. This appointment serves two purposes. One is for the lawyer to evaluate your case and offer advice. The other is for you to ask questions. What experience of construction-related legal matters do they have? How much courtroom experience do they have? What sort of success rate do they have? Have they dealt with cases similar to your own in the past? Ask any questions that are relevant to your circumstances so you know you are choosing the right attorney.
It matters little if your construction project is worth tens of thousands or tens of million of dollars. In any construction-related work, you want things to go smoothly, for work to be completed on time, and for there to be no disputes over details or payments. But if and when things do go wrong, you want to know that you can rely on competent legal advice and representation to solve those problems.
Michigan Premier Law, P.C. has been serving construction industry clients for many years. We can assist you in reviewing or drafting contracts, pursuing or defending defect claims, and dealing with disputes. If you would like to arrange a free consultation, then please call today at (248)-687-1035.