Running a construction project is such a complex matter. First, it requires you to excel as a Construction Lawyer in resource management and juggle several contractors at the same time. There’s so much paperwork, so many regulations to honor, and so many contracts to sign. It’s incredibly important that your lawyer check, verify, and handle all of this with precision.
These are just some of the things that a construction lawyer can do for you. Now, seeing as how a construction lawyer is not just in charge of dispute resolution or handling things in court, they might even be worth keeping on a retainer. Now, for all of you who are still unsure about whether this is a smart thing to do, here’s a brief list of some of their main responsibilities.
1. They represent all involved parties
The first thing worth mentioning is that construction lawyers can represent anyone, from construction companies, and property investors, all the way to construction workers and architects. You see, every party involved is investing their time, effort, and resources into the project, which is why they need a guarantee that their interests are protected. In other words, seeing as how all of these parties need a construction lawyer, the same person cant represent them at the same time. there’s always a need for more construction lawyers.
2. Handling contracts
There are so many contracts that you’ll have to sign for every single construction project. Having someone review it or even form it is incredibly important. While you have your interests, the thing with contracts is that they need to be formatted properly. This simply cannot be done without someone experienced in legal matters. Just because you can put something in the contract doesn’t mean that it’s legally binding or that it can be enforced. So, you may need some help just to make things valid.
3. Dealing with contractor disputes
Contractor disputes will cause delays, additional costs, and incredible frustration, which usually leads to the lower work quality. Construction lawyers can, in some scenarios, be seen as impartial parties capable of providing necessary mediation. Keep in mind that when everyone has some skin in the game, it’s hard to find a compromise. Fortunately, getting a professional mediator, especially one experienced in the construction industry can change this around quite effortlessly. After all, these things are usually straightforward and all you need is the interpreter of construction laws.
4. Handling construction defect claims
Even though this is a heavily regulated field, a lot of contractors still decide to play it too close to the chest, which causes all sorts of defects in the construction. Building code violations, inspection oversights, and structural defects are far more common than you expect them to be. Having this handled properly is incredibly important. According to veteran construction lawyers from Sydney, figuring out whose liability this is will not only resolve the problem quickly. It will also minimize the costs caused by this issue and ensure that everything is back on track in no time.
5. Dealing with workplace injuries
While every industry has its risks, it’s clear from the very start that the construction industry is a bit more hazardous. We’re talking about people working on great heights, operating dangerous machinery, and lifting heavy materials. In other words, accidents are more likely to happen. Once they do, there is all the liability and compensation claim to resolve and this is something that you’ll need a construction lawyer for. You see, this is not just about what’s legal but also about what’s right.
6. Operational efficiency
The thing about construction law is the fact that, in a lot of states, deadlines to file a lawsuit are short. This means that hiring a lawyer once the problem is already there is not the most efficient way to go about it. You see, sometimes, the work just can’t continue until the matter is resolved. If it’s a dispute in question, the team might not return to their duties until things are handled. The reason why this is so troublesome is that there are usually quite a few contractors on a construction project.
7. Small claims court
While small claims courts can sometimes be handled without a lawyer, this is never really a smart idea. You still have to file the paperwork and instigate a proper legal procedure. Sure, a small claims court usually deals with damages between $2,000 and $25,000, however, $10,000 or $20,000 are still a considerable sum. This means that it’s more than worth hiring a construction lawyer over it. Moreover, in the construction industry, there’s always the factor of starting repairs or fixing issues on time. The sooner the issue is settled, the sooner the work can start.
8. Impartial opinion
Keep in mind that construction lawyers are trained to keep their biases in check and give straight answers to your questions. They’re also open to questions. If you want to know how much they charge, you can try doing your research online but it’s always easier to just contact one and ask them. For instance, when you’re in a legal dispute and are wondering whether to settle or not, advice from a lawyer may help sway you either way. After all, they have a great idea of whether you’ll get it or not.
9. Keeping up with the evolving legal system
The biggest challenge with the construction law is the fact that it’s constantly evolving. Therefore, just to keep up with the changes, you would need someone who is committed to this on a full-time basis. Remember that different states, and even different municipalities, may have different zoning regulations. While you should study this from the very start, it’s a lot easier to figure it all out if you have a lawyer on your team. Keep in mind that while, on its own, this wouldn’t be enough to justify hiring a construction lawyer, this is just one of the services that they provide.
10. Contract negotiations
One of the first things you need to focus on in your contract negotiations is what’s fair and what’s standard practice. After all, a veteran construction lawyer has probably made and reviewed hundreds of such contracts. So, if there’s anything out of ordinary there, they can point it out and even explain why it took place. Remember that you can’t put absolutely anything in the contract. Some things are just not in agreement with the law, even if the other party could agree to them. The key thing is that you consult an expert during and before the contract negotiations.
In the end, it is never a bad idea to hire a specialist, particularly if it is high-responsibility services that you require. This is because specialists have extensive training and experience. When it comes to the law, the repercussions of disregarding this principle can have very severe effects. If you are a professional contractor, an investor, or the owner of a construction business, you should absolutely have a construction lawyer on retainer. In general, this is not something you want to deal with on your own, and if you are in any of those roles, you should also have a construction lawyer for professional Indemnity Insurance; even if you do not currently employ one, it may be in your best interest to consult with a construction lawyer on a regular basis.