It may not come as a surprise to hear that the American construction industry is enormous, and it has a market value of over one trillion dollars. Many American contractor crews are hard at work building today’s office towers, schools, suburban homes, banks, libraries, and more. However, a construction site may have many hazards for both human life and expensive machinery alike, and this may involve some liability paperwork. Construction attorneys and other construction lawyers may be on hand if there is a dispute or a case of injury or property damage during a construction project, and these attorneys will have the relevant skills and knowledge to handle such a dispute between contractors. If a worker is injured by a faulty piece of equipment, for example, construction attorneys may pursue litigation against a perceived at-fault party. Or, a crew may make a very late invoice payment to another or fail to pay at all, and this may also result in legal action.
Construction and the Law
During a construction project, many man hours are dedicated to the work, and many workers are exposed to hazards and many pieces of expensive equipment are being used. What if something were to go wrong? Sometimes, there may be an accident or a dispute over paperwork, and the American Arbitration Association (AAA) handles many large construction litigation cases every year. Back in 2015, for a recent example, the AAA administered some 551 different construction industry cases with claims worth $500,000 or over, and the largest was worth an impressive $2.6 billion. Meanwhile, the largest arbitration case that year was worth $96 million, and the total value of all claims and counter-claims for 2015 came out to $5.5 billion. A construction firm may find itself in court if workers were killed on the project site, for example, or if faulty work or materials resulted in the collapse of expensive buildings under construction. That, or perhaps valuable vehicles or equipment on the job was damaged or destroyed due to careless behavior.
What Construction Attorneys May Do
Even if there are no injuries or accidents on the work site, construction attorneys are highly useful. They will draft, review, and approve all sorts of paperwork as a project begins, and they will help set up contract between contractor crews for property use and materials used. These attorneys will also set up legal agreements for invoice payments between parties, and the attorneys will ensure that all city and state regulations and codes for construction, safety, and fire hazards are being observed.
A construction attorney may get involved if another crew’s invoice payment is very late or is clearly not coming at all, and such a problem may slow down the construction project. Lawyers may pursue litigation if need be to get that missing payment. In other cases, another crew may launch wrongful termination of the construction project, and another crew’s construction attorney may take legal action to nullify that other party’s attempt to shut down the project. Conversely, if a crew feels that a project really should be terminated, then their lawyer may start the paperwork for that. A project may be terminated, for example, if it is grievously far behind schedule and/or over budget, or if too many injuries or accidents are taking place on the construction site. This may also happen if too many codes or regulations are being breached.
Worker injury is another area of concern. A worker may turn to personal injury law firms in particular, as opposed to a construction attorney, and they may look up local law firms once they are able to. An injury victim may get consultations from the attorneys at a local injury law firm (this may or may not incur a fee) and find an attorney whose skills and experience are to their liking. Such attorneys specialize in personal injury cases, such as those due to car accidents or workplace accidents, and may work with their client to form a case in litigation. It should be noted that most often, such litigation brings the desired results without the need for a costly and time-consuming court case. The at-fault party may furnish its own legal defense, and the two sides will negotiate a settlement for the injured party.