The world of construction is built on a foundation of solid contracts. However, even the most sturdy foundation is capable of having a few defects. In fact, despite best efforts, 90% of all global infrastructure projects are either over budget or delayed resulting in unwanted disputes and breaches of contract, according to recent statistics.
However, with the assistance of a Charlotte contractor lawyer, you can avoid potential problems before they wind up costing you thousands of dollars. Although it is best to contact a Charlotte construction litigation attorney before a potential issue arises, there are a few instances when you should request legal counsel immediately to help navigate important legalities.
Related: Understanding a Breach of Contract
Exercising Termination or Escalation Clauses
Termination and escalation clauses are standard aspects of any construction contract in the industry today. Both serve the same purpose — to protect you, your business, and your bottom line. Speaking with a Charlotte contractor lawyer before exercising either clause or agreeing to a contract that contains either clause, can help minimize your potential risk.
A termination clause states how, when, and why you can terminate a contract. There are two different types of termination clauses to consider. A termination for cause (termination for default) clause states that in the event that another party defaulted or failed to complete something that they were under contract to do, you may be entitled to exercise the clause and terminate the contract. A termination clause may be as specific as “failure to provide material on a specific date” or as general as “failure to meet obligations.” A termination for convenience clause permits you the ability to terminate the contract at any point for any reason.
An escalation clause allows for the escalation of a specific cost for work or materials to be utilized in a construction project. In particular, an escalation clause is most commonly used to represent the likely change of material costs for the duration of the life of the project.
Employee disputes are not unique to the construction industry. There are a number of reasons why disputes may arise with employees. A few of these reasons include:
- Lack of Clarity: Employees may end up in disputes with each other or employers when proper boundaries are not clearly defined.
- Conflicts of Interest: Individuals competing for personal objectives may dismiss company objectives.
- Poor Communication: Absence of clear information or inaccurate information can lead to expectations not being met, and poor communication, in general, leads to misconception and disagreement.
- Limited Resources: Something not often considered is how the amount of equipment, materials, and space can affect the general attitude of employees. If possible, include partners and employees in acquiring equipment and materials. If resources are expected to be limited, having more individuals clued in on how everything should be properly managed can go a long way in reducing the risk of employee disputes and the chance of injury due to poor training or resources.
- Injury or fatality on the jobsite: Nobody wants it to happen, but despite proper employee training and following OSHA regulations, injuries and fatalities may still occur. A Charlotte contractor attorney should be contacted immediately in the aftermath of an on-location injury or fatality. Not only will counsel assist with filing insurance documentation, but they will also ensure that all reporting required to OSHA is completed in a timely fashion.
If you feel that your bid was unjustly dismissed or you are unsatisfied with the result of the bid process, you are permitted to bring it to the consideration of the government agency directing the bid. In the event that this still does not result in a favorable outcome, you may then file a bid protest. The process may be rather involved, and legal counsel is recommended as a Charlotte contractor attorney can help understand your rights.
An attorney can also clarify possible damages such as monetary, declaratory, and mandamus injunctions. Whether challenging a winning bid or protecting your bid, a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys increases the likelihood that your firm will be awarded a government contract.
Construction defects may occur due to no fault of the contractor but can be a hassle to deal with. They can originate in the design stage if the design professional fails to provide properly organized or accurate documentation, or can occur all the way through the end stages of a project. In fact, consumers may not even discover the defect until years later. However, the contractor may still be liable for the damages.
Manufacturers of building materials may provide goods that are damaged or subpar, which could then lead to additional labor and materials needed to resolve the defect. The foundation or even the subsurface underneath the foundation could be ill-prepared and cause defects in the structure at a later date. If a contractor fails to follow construction documents properly, this may lead to workmanship defects.
If any of these construction defects occur during a project that your business is involved in, you may find yourself in need of a Charlotte construction litigation lawyer.
Threats From Another Party for Legal Action
If legal action is being threatened, it is imperative to contact a Charlotte construction litigation lawyer. With the assistance of a legal advisor, it’s a lot simpler to decide which threats are just that and which ones have some legitimacy. On the other end of the spectrum, if you or your firm decide that a lawsuit is the appropriate course of action, know that self-representation may end up costing you more in the long run.
By speaking with a Charlotte construction litigation attorney, your construction business will have the ability to better assess expected liabilities and make a well-informed decision.
Cotney Construction Law’s experienced attorneys will provide sound legal advice to construction professionals at every level and can assist your firm with any construction need. Not only do we advise our clients on legal matters, but we also provide a myriad of other valuable services for construction businesses, including contract review, employment law advice, and litigation and arbitration services. We also advocate for clients involved in licensing complaints, permitting issues, stop-work orders, and more.
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.