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Orlando Construction Lawyer

Construction Disputes

Construction projects are ripe situations for litigation. Construction, by its very nature, possesses some of the most common issues that lead to legal disputes. Timing delays, negligence, work product, failure to pay, wrong materials used, poor labor, and a host of other issues are always inherently present in construction. All parties engage in construction for one major purpose, and that is to make money. General contractors perform their services in exchange for compensation. Owners build projects to profit from rents, to sell the project, or from appreciation over time. As a construction law and construction litigation law firm, we understand keeping our clients out of trouble and ensuring that deals go as planned. We also understanding enforcing or defending our client’s rights in court, at arbitration hearings, or during dispute resolution mediations. 

The Importance of a Solid Construction Contract, Construction Project Plan, and Site Diary

No matter if you are the general contract, sub-contractor or the owner of a project, a well-constructed contract is your first and most powerful defense to avoiding any legal disputes. 

 

Every party prefers to avoid costly disputes and lawsuits related to their construction projects. Therefore, the best way to avoid finding yourself in court is to make sure that each party works with an experienced construction lawyer to ensure that the contract is a clear understanding of the rights and obligations of each party. For this reason, it is imperative that general contractors, sub-contractors, owners, and investors in construction projects are properly represented by a construction law attorney from the onset of any project. 

Construction Disputes

Construction Project Plan

Aside from the actual contract, it is prudent to create a detailed construction project plan. Start your plan by analyzing every detail of the project and working out ways to reduce and manage risk. This will allow you the ability to predict mistakes before they happen and to define how you and the other parties will approach these mistakes should they occur. This will also help you to see how the other parties behave. If you are unhappy with how your team is behaving at this juncture, odds are you will be unhappy with how they behave during the actual project. Communication is key and holding regular meetings with the parties is encouraged. If you are a general contractor, your best friend is over-communicating with the owner of the project. Over-communication leads to mistakes being forgiven, but under-communication will ensure that the owner resents your work no matter how good it is. Likewise, if you are the owner of the project, you will want to meet with and communicate with your contractors. The more you know about them and the more they know how involved you are in the project the better.

Site Diary

Finally, it is also important to keep a site diary. A site diary is your personal record of what takes place on the site. A site diary will have dates of when materials arrived, when certain portions of the project began, who was on the site on what day, and notes regarding the progress and quality of the project. By keeping a site diary, you will ensure that all issues around a project come to your attention and are addressed immediately. A site diary also serves as invaluable information for your construction litigation attorney should a dispute lead to a lawsuit. 

Types of Disputes

Some of the most common issues that arise out of construction disputes are:

 

  • Failure to complete work in a timely manner
  • Failure to retain, or negligence in using, certain labor for the project and that labor ends up performing sub-par work
  • Failure to adhere to the plans and specifications of the project
  • Unauthorized changes, additions, or omissions from the original plans and specifications,
  • Failure to may payment according to the payment schedule or draw schedule
  • Negligent work

 

All cases are different, and the unique circumstances of your case will not fit a one-size-fits-all approach. If you have found yourself in a construction law dispute, call our construction litigation attorneys at Parikh Law, P.A. today.

Resolving Disputes

Litigation is usually not the best answer in a construction dispute and should only be used as a last option. When it comes to construction disputes, the allegations are usually obvious. Delay in finishing a project, failure to pay, or incompetent work are easy to see and easy to prove. 

 

Therefore, rather than going through the expensive process of litigating your rights, it is often a good idea to resolve disputes outside of court.

 

It is important to address any issue as it arises promptly. Time is money, and that is nowhere more the case than in construction projects. Often, parties do not address small issues during the project but let them build up and snow-ball. When the project then is delayed or monies are not paid, the parties have to overcome a number of disputes all at once and lose faith in each other. It is important to address each problem, no matter how small, as it arises. Issues will arise in a construction project. You might as well plan on it. Having a legal team on your side throughout the process to resolve these issues and keep the project on track is paramount to avoid costly litigation down the road. 

 

When disputes are not handled in this manner, they usually grow in number and scale and result in legitimately large construction disputes that seem like they can only be resolved in court. At this point, it is a good idea to consider construction mediation.

Construction Disputes

Mediation

Mediation is a method of resolving construction disputes by submitting the matter to a professional, competent, mediator. This third-party mediator is usually chosen and paid for by both parties and is impartial to the dispute. Their job is to make a good faith effort and help the parties come to an agreement on how to resolve the issues and disputes at hand. The mediator will serve as a go-between to the parties and the parties’ attorneys. The mediator has no power to compel the parties to reach an agreement or to force them to take any action. If the conflict remains unsettled after mediation, the parties will usually proceed to arbitration (link to internal arbitration page) or mediation

Litigation

When mediation and other attempts to resolve the dispute amicably fails, the parties will likely resort to litigation (link to internal authority page “Commercial and Business Litigation”). It is paramount that you hire the correct construction litigation attorney to represent you in court. Construction litigation is complex with many moving parts. Expert witnesses are routinely used, and oftentimes necessary, to prove construction defects or other construction cases. If you are facing a construction dispute or lawsuit, call Parikh Law, P.A. today to discuss the unique aspects of your case and see how we can help you. Do not wait or delay. Procrastination can cost you dearly.