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Ways Construction Laws Vary Between Different States

Construction companies tend to cross state lines as they grow and expand. While this can be highly profitable and make it possible for companies to reach a wider group of customers, it can also create legal issues for the company to overcome. This is because construction laws are different, based on which state you are in. 

Every state can set its own construction laws, which makes it more difficult for companies to expand across state lines. There are subtle differences in how state laws work, and every state applies similar laws in their own way. The result is a system where it can be difficult to assess how specific laws will affect your company unless you are licensed or have legal representation in that state. Just because you have a firm grasp on the law in one state does not mean that you can manage your construction projects in another state. For a comprehensive understanding of the ways laws vary between different states, don’t hesitate to contact a Nashville construction dispute attorney with Cotney Construction Law. 

Related: Tennessee Laws Impacting Construction Companies

Why Laws Are Different

Laws are different between states because every state is allowed to set its own laws. The federal government has overarching laws to help protect people across state lines, but they only apply in specific situations. Many of the laws that do exist come from the same legal basis, which is why states have laws that seem similar. For example, liens are commonly used in construction, so every state has a set of lien laws. If you are planning on operating in a state, then you should fully understand the laws for that state. Ignorance is not an excuse in courts, and you could face penalties or lose your license if you cause problems. In Tennessee, consult a Nashville construction dispute lawyer before you do any work to make sure that you have a firm understanding and legal basis for your actions. 

Different Laws vs. Different Applications

Another aspect of construction law to be aware of is that different states may have different applications of the same laws. It’s important to understand this since you cannot assume that the laws will be the same for every state. Instead, you should treat every law as a unique issue to address so that you are properly prepared for anything that you have to deal with. If you have any questions about construction law in Tennessee, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Nashville construction lawyer before taking action. 

Statutes of Limitations

Once an incident has happened, you have a set amount of time to take legal action. This is called the statute of limitations. For example, a worker that was hurt on the job because of another worker has a set number of years to file a lawsuit against the other worker or a construction company. If he fails to file the lawsuit by the deadline, the liability claims attached to it are no longer valid. 

Statutes of limitations change based on the state that they are applied in. Every state sets its own statutes and their own guidelines on time limits for filing claims. This could affect how you handle OSHA claims, worker’s compensation claims, and other liability claims. It’s important to be aware of these limits since you could face serious legal trouble if you don’t take the appropriate action in the required amount of time. 

Related: Statute of Limitations vs. Statute of Repose

Lien Laws and Similar Systems

Any laws that deal with the handling of property during or after construction will likely be different in different states. Liens are handled differently based on what you can do with them. For example, some states give you different ways of removing liens from property, such as applying them to transfer bonds, while other states do not. 

These laws can be particularly troublesome if you are not familiar with how they work in other states. If you’re not careful, you run the risk of creating a problem that could stop your project entirely. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have a construction lawyer available to help you figure out the applicable laws for your project. 

Related: Tennessee Lien Deadlines for Contractors and Subcontractors

Licenses and Permits

Perhaps the most prominent problem that you are likely to face is dealing with licenses and permits. Both licenses and permits are provided on a state and local level, meaning that they will change based on where you are. Not having the right permit for a project can be a major problem since your project could be shut down at any time. Many construction companies that are going to do work in a state that they normally do not work in hire a construction lawyer to help them get the right permits. 

Licensing can also be a problem that is harder to resolve. Some states allow construction companies with licenses from other states; however, this is not always the case. Your company may need to get a license in another state to be able to do construction work there. Aside from the effort to get the license, it may also be difficult to maintain it. You may find that having legal help can make this process easier. 

Every state has different laws when it comes to construction projects. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and will not hold up in court. Plus, you can reduce the chances of having problems by taking the appropriate steps ahead of time to prevent any legal issues. If you have questions about the difference between laws in specific states, contact a Nashville construction dispute attorney from Cotney Construction Law.

If you would like to speak with one of our Nashville construction lawyers, 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.