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What Is an Early Offer of Settlement for Public Works Contracts?

When working on a public works project, there is a chance that you will be offered an early offer of settlement. This is a mechanism used to resolve injuries and other disputes without the need for legal action. In this article, a contractor attorney in Wilmington, NC, discusses early offers of settlement for public works contracts. 

Public Works Contracts

Public works contracts are commissioned and managed by the government to develop new resources or facilities for the public. Parks, municipal buildings, and schools are all examples of public works projects. To participate in this type of project, a construction company must sign a public works contract with the agency overseeing the project. 

What Is an Early Offer of Settlement?

In the United States, the phrase “early offer of settlement” refers to a financial arrangement in which the plaintiff offers to settle the underlying claims and complaint prior to a settlement conference that is scheduled to occur a few days to weeks after the case has been filed. The plaintiff’s offer to settle is contingent upon the defendant’s acceptance of the offer. The defendant then has an opportunity to accept or not accept the offer prior to the conference. This can either occur at the conference itself, where it is discussed in full court or immediately after the conference.

Benefits of an Early Offer of Settlement

In construction law, an early offer of settlement is considered the last option for debtors who are unable to repay their construction debt. Construction law, unlike other fields, requires construction contractors to be in full compliance with all the terms and conditions of a construction contract. Otherwise, they risk being charged with numerous civil suits and ultimately having to pay for the legal fees incurred due to such lawsuits, even if the construction project was done by their own company. The law provides that construction contractors who commit a violation of the construction contract law may be subjected to serious penalties, up to and including criminal charges. 

For construction companies, construction law requires them to submit a proposal on how they would settle any disputes which might arise from any violations in terms and conditions of the construction contract law, including issues like construction related civil and criminal litigation and disputes over payment of subcontractors, workers, materials, and labor. For this reason, construction companies often seek to settle their disputes through an early offer of settlement.

If your company receives an early offer of settlement, it’s important that you address it quickly and effectively. You may want to have a lawyer help you through the process. If you have questions about public works projects and early offers of settlements, contact a construction attorney in Wilmington, NC, from Cotney Construction Law.

If you would like to speak with a construction attorney in Wilmington, NC, 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.