Despite work being done in good faith, many contractors face allegations that they simply should not face alone. Proceedings and claims can cause delays in projects and distract construction teams from accomplishing their goals. In fact, research shows that while the value of claims against contractors has declined, the duration of disputes has increased.
Navigating legal claims can be incredibly difficult without experienced, aggressive legal counsel. While some issues can be resolved by construction contractors, there are several instances when hiring a Greensboro construction attorney is necessary.
Contractor License Issues
Contractors are required to obtain licensing to operate in the state of North Carolina through the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. Licensing requirements were created in the amending of Chapter 318 of the Public Laws, designed for the purpose of safeguarding life, health, and property and to promote public welfare. A Greensboro contractor license defense lawyer is well-versed in the legalities and requirements of obtaining a contractor’s license and can assist with the process.
Additionally, through the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors, the public can file complaints against a general contractor for a number of reasons. A few of the most common complaints include:
- Misallocation of funds
- Fraudulently obtaining a license
- Project abandonment
- Working outside of licensing terms
- Failure to obtain proper permits
- Negligent building design
- Negligence resulting in injury or major property damage
- Construction defects caused by design flaws, errors, and omissions
Complaints against a construction professional’s license can result in fines, a restriction of practices, probation, administrative cost, or the suspension or revocation of the license. Losing a contractor’s license should be taken very seriously, as it can permanently impact a construction professional’s livelihood. A Greensboro contractor license defense attorney is available to represent you during the investigation.
When an owner feels there is an issue with a home or building, that is considered a construction defect. There are two main types of construction defects: patent defects, which refer to defects that are completely visible, and latent defects, which are less visible and may go undetected for years. An example of a patent defect would be water seepage from the pipes coming in through the walls, while a latent defect might be a water leak beneath the building.
Whether a patent or latent defect, allegations of a defect may arise at any time after a project has been completed. A Greensboro construction defect lawyer is familiar with laws relating to construction defects and can explain the process of handling defect disputes.
A few of the most common construction defects include:
- Electrical systems issues
- Foundation issues (i.e., wall, roof, and floor cracks)
- Water/plumbing issues
- Drainage issues
- Landscaping/soil issues
- Mold/dry rot
- Heating/electrical issues
- Water and plumbing issues
If allegations of a defect arise, a Greensboro construction defect attorney will discuss legal protections and actions with the contractor. If a defect is suspected or reported, contact an attorney right away to discuss your options.
Jobsite Injuries or Fatalities
Although OSHA rules and regulations may have been strictly followed at the jobsite, accidents can still occur. If they do, it is imperative to contact a Greensboro construction attorney right away to ensure timely filing of all important information for insurance, OSHA, and other government agencies which may become involved.
For example, OSHA enforces a strict timeline for reporting fatalities on a jobsite. If the fatality or serious injury is not reported within their guidelines, additional fines and issues will arise. Legal counsel will also advise on how to secure the jobsite to prevent additional fatalities or injuries prior to an OSHA inspection.
Breaches of Contract
Breaches of contract can occur through no fault of the contractor and can occur without willful negligence. For example, a contractor who specifies a timeline within a contract may not finish a project through no fault of their own. The parts may have been delayed due to a third party, or there may be extenuating circumstances (for example, a global pandemic, hurricane, or other major events) that prevent the contractor and their team from completing a job on time.
When this occurs, it is important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible to prevent further licensing issues and to craft the course of action. If the breach of contract results in mediation, arbitration, or litigation, having an attorney is crucial to navigating the legal process. It is also important to contact an attorney with real-world experience in the courtroom should the contractor choose not to settle the case outside of court.
OSHA Inspections and Citations
Before an OSHA inspection, an attorney will help guide contractors through commonly missed OSHA citations. During an inspection, legal counsel should be contacted and may accompany the inspector during the process. After an inspection, a lawyer will explain any possible citations, assist in contesting those citations, and will explain the process to avoid future citations.
Further, an attorney will enable the contractor to focus on the important business of keeping the jobsite safe and employees trained properly while ensuring that all OSHA required documentation is up-to-date and in compliance.
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.