When a contractor suffers time or financial losses because a project is delayed, they may exercise their right to file a delay claim against the developer or site owner. In a delay claim, a contractor is contending that their work process was delayed or halted through the actions or inaction of a site owner or developer. In this scenario, they are seeking additional time to complete the project or compensation for money lost due to the delay.
While these claims are filed from time to time, they can be difficult to defend. It has to be proven that a delay damaged the critical path of the project, meaning that delays in one aspect of the project altered the start of another part of the project that depended on that part being done. Additionally, it must be determined what caused the delay and who’s at fault. To learn more about the basics of a delay claim, go to part 1 of this series.
It’s All About the Contract
The contract plays a critical role in determining the validity of a delay. The contract should answer the following questions:
- Who accepted the specific risks involved in a claim?– Contracts typically spell out who’s accountable for delays in specific situations.
- What is considered an excusable delay?– A delay in which the contractor is not at fault.
What Can Contractors Do to Defend Their Delay Claims?
There are a number of actions that contractors can take that may help them secure damages in the delay claim process. This includes:
- Checking the contract thoroughly: Before the project starts, closely review what delays are you accountable for within a project. Also, review whether you can recover financial damages for delays. A Florida construction attorney can be your biggest ally when it comes to reviewing contracts.
- Documenting delays: If a delay occurs, it’s important to document the specifics of the delay as thoroughly as possible, including its impact on the project schedule.
- Sending notices immediately: Sending a notice of the delay creates a documented record that can be used later if the claim goes to litigation.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.