What Is Construction Litigation?
Construction litigation is a specialized area of civil law that deals with construction-related disputes. These disputes can arise between any parties involved in a construction project, including owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals. It may also be necessary when construction defects cause damage to unrelated third-party property, and/ or injuries to third parties unrelated to the work of construction itself.
Types of Construction Disputes
There are many different types of construction disputes that can lead to construction litigation. Some of the most common construction disputes include:
Construction work can be a dangerous job. Every year, construction workers are injured or killed on construction sites due to falls, equipment malfunctions, and other accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
2. Breach of Contract
A breach of contract occurs when one of the parties involved in a construction project fails to live up to their obligations under the contract. One of the top causes of disputes is a failure to understand or comply with contractual obligations and/or the standard of care. This can happen for several reasons, including failure to pay for work, failure to complete work, or poor quality of work.
3. Construction Quality
Construction quality disputes can arise when a construction project is not completed according to the plans and specifications, or when the construction work falls below the required standard of care.
4. Delay Claims
Delay claims can be caused by a variety of factors, including bad weather, delays in receiving construction materials, poor construction built below the standard of care, and/or construction accidents. Delay claims can be filed by either the owner or the contractor, and can often lead to construction litigation.
5. Change Orders
A change order should be prepared if the construction plans need to be changed after the contract has been signed and/or construction has commenced. A change order is a legal document that outlines the changes that have been made to the construction plans. Written Change Orders should be used whenever the scope of work for a construction project changes in order to memorialize the agreement to make changes.
6. Construction Defects
Construction defects are construction disputes that occur when there are problems with the construction work itself and it falls below the standard of care and/or violates building codes. Construction defects can include anything from faulty construction materials to poor workmanship that falls below the standard of care, to improperly designed plans and specifications.
7. Payment Disputes
Payment disputes occur when one of the parties involved in a construction project does not pay for work that has been completed. Payment disputes can be caused by many factors, including non-payment of invoices, delays in payment, or disputed charges for work completed or work done improperly. Payment delays occur when the contractor does not receive payment from the owner in a timely manner and/or does not pay his subcontractors and/or material men in a timely manner.
Tips for Avoiding Construction Litigation
There are a few key things to keep in mind if you want to avoid construction disputes:
- Make sure all parties are aware of and agree to the construction contract before work begins in writing.
- Make sure construction is carried out in accordance with the contract plans, specifications, building codes, and standard of care in the industry.
- Periodically review the construction project to ensure that it is proceeding according to schedule and that all changes are authorized in writing.
- Resolve any construction disputes promptly and amicably.
- Consult with an experienced construction lawyer before or when a dispute arises.
Receive Legal Guidance from Mellor Law Firm
If you are involved in a construction project and have questions about construction litigation, contact our experienced construction lawyers at Mellor Law Firm. We can help you understand your rights and options, and we will work tirelessly to protect your interests.