Construction sites are extremely susceptible to extensive damage and loss during a hurricane. The hurricane winds alone can disrupt an entire construction project. It’s imperative that construction professionals are prepared well in advance of a storm with a strong disaster plan, but they must also be prepared for the aftermath by thwarting any threat to the completion of the project.
This second part will conclude our series. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to read part one of our article.
Get Your Credentials in Order
Areas that have been devastated by a hurricane become a prime opportunity to gain new business. If you are traveling within your own state or another to perform work in the aftermath of a hurricane, review the licensing laws and consumer protection laws of that state. You want to protect yourself from discrepancies and legal issues regarding licensing, lien or bond claims, and contract agreements. Hurricane disaster response contracting information can be found on FEMA’s website. Consumers have laws on their side, but you need legal counsel advocating for your rights. Our Tampa construction lawyers are here to help.
Following a storm, parties may find themselves answering the question of whether or not the storm caused the damage or loss to a structure. Or, they may have to determine whether the condition existed during or before construction which could mean the damage could be the result of a design or construction related defect. Parties will then have to determine who’s responsible for the damage if an adjuster were to attribute the problem to a defect in the building. This also rings true for any hazards or contamination that may surface following the storm. Does your contract identify who bears the risk for or will insurance cover the costs and remediation?
Abide by Your Contract Terms
A hurricane doesn’t necessarily excuse parties from honoring their contractual obligations. However, parties should understand their rights and responsibilities for unusual weather. Typically, contracts should address circumstances for absolving a contractor of the responsibility of delays to mitigate harsh consequences when delays are beyond the contractor’s control. This is why a reputable Tampa construction lawyer is critical. A construction lawyer can ensure your contracts address the potential for unpredictable events such as a hurricane and can incorporate provisions such as a force majeure clause in the contract to deal with these sort of issues.
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.