When your company has a dispute to settle regarding construction defects, there is a high chance that litigation is soon to follow. Litigation is often the method of choice for resolving conflicts. Your company can do a lot to prepare for it, including working with a Houston construction litigation lawyer. In this article, our Houston OSHA lawyers discuss how to prepare your company for construction defect litigation.
A Growing Trend
If your company is a contractor or a subcontractor, you must know all the facts and circumstances of how to prepare your company for construction defect litigation. The construction industry has been on a steady rise ever since the turn of the millennium, and many people involved in construction are still trying to figure out what the next step will be. What will happen when your contractor or subcontractor accidentally leaves part of a building up on the job site? What if your construction firm develops a safety or construction problem that causes harm or death to someone while on the job? There are many questions that need to be answered for any construction company, but the first step in answering these questions is to learn as much as possible about the construction industry and the laws that govern it.
In the past, most construction companies could simply try to deny any liability for defective workmanship or construction defects but, today, there are many more lawsuits that have been filed against contractors and subcontractors who knowingly injured or killed someone on the job. One thing that many construction firms do not realize is that, although most states have strict liability laws, they do not include mental anguish as a part of their lawsuit injury statutes. This means that if you were injured on the job and you later received medical treatment at a hospital, your company may be able to get paid for those expenses even though they may have been partially responsible for the injury. It is important to note that construction defect litigation cases can be quite complex and very time-consuming, so having an experienced attorney on your side can be extremely beneficial.
Work with a Construction Lawyer
When planning a building project, it is wise to consider hiring a construction lawyer to handle the zoning, construction permits, contracts, etc. It can be very confusing and time-consuming to get all the required documents in order for a new business to open. It is very important that the business plan is followed and that everyone is on the same page as far as the construction of the building goes. In these trying economic times, every little bit helps. A construction lawyer can be the one to make sure that everything is done legally correct and that the building is what the owner and potential customers expect.
Avoid Admissions of Fault
It is critical that you avoid any admission of fault regarding problems with the project, even if it is your company’s fault. An admission of fault can lead to liability for the problem even when you are not liable. Make sure that employees understand that they should not speak publicly about the situation until the company and its legal team has had ample time to address the situation. Otherwise, it could become a more serious legal matter.
Maintain Proper Documentation
Proper documentation is the cornerstone of any good project management plan. Proper documentation, also known as quality control documentation or change control documentation, ensures that the business has a documented history of the project from beginning to end. Documentation helps track changes that have occurred as well as project progress and targets. Many tools exist that can help a project manager to ensure that the documentation is up to date and accurate, such as a changelog. Having good documentation ensures that projects are delivered on time and within budget, which are two of the main goals of a business.
In order to maintain proper documentation, companies must first identify their needs, their scope, their specifications, and their deliverables, and then determine how to document those needs and objectives in an accurate and reliable manner. Some people are good at writing documents and many people are not. It is usually best if the person who is assigned the task of maintaining documentation either has a background in this area or someone who can mentor him or her. Either way, there are steps that should be taken to ensure that documentation is maintained correctly.
Contact Relevant Insurance Companies
One of the first things that your company should do is to contact the appropriate insurance companies. They need to be notified and be able to investigate as needed. You may also be obligated to notify your insurance company in the event that something happens.
How well you prepare for litigation significantly influences the outcome. Make sure that your company is well prepared by working with a Houston OSHA lawyer. If you have questions about the kinds of software and documentation you may need, contact Houston construction law attorneys from Cotney Construction Law.
If you would like to speak with one of our Houston construction law attorneys, please contact us today.
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.