The American construction industry, as a whole, is enormous: a 2016 estimate out the total value of this industry at $1.162 trillion, and all across the nation, construction crews are working together on projects ranging from suburban homes and neighborhoods all the way to schools, banks, office buildings, and shopping malls. Getting a construction project done right is about more than just the excavators, jackhammers, and blow torches for the job, however; construction is a big business, and this means that all paperwork involved should be fair, legally binding, and clearly outline everyone’s role in the job and who pays which party invoices for services or equipment being lent. Most often, a construction law firm can be contacted, and a construction attorney, who specializes in law related to such projects to make sure that everything is fair and that all issues can be resolved before they get out of hand. Hiring a lawyer may be the first thing to do if a serious problem comes up on the work site such as a late invoice or a worker getting injured on the job.
Commercial Real Estate Law Cases
Some cases involving construction can get very large, and all parties involved will reach out to a construction law firm or even bigger agencies to get a case resolved. The American Arbitration Association (AAA), for example, has mediated large cases before, and this can illustrate just how large these cases can get. In the year 2015, the AAA administered a total of 551 construction industry cases that each had a value of $500,000 or more, and some such cases were enormous. In fact, the largest mediated construction case turned out to be worth a staggering $2.6 billion, and the single largest arbitration case was worth $96 million in that year. In total, the value of claims and counterclaims all together ended up being $5,5 billion. Similarly, the AAA has also revealed that the largest case resolved by a single arbiter was worth $232 million, and the smallest of the cases (it was settled by three arbitrators) was worth a mere $23,000. What can a construction crew do to make a project go smoothly so that massive litigation like this is not needed?
Using a Construction Law Firm
Even if there are no issues that come up in a construction project, every contractor crew involved will want a lawyer backing them up when the initial paperwork is being done. As mentioned above, these lawyers are specially trained to make sure that all paperwork in a construction project is fair, legally binding, and obeys all relevant construction and safety codes and regulations, and these lawyers will also oversee the drafting of invoices that the crews will charge each other for equipment and material use. A construction attorney will set the legal foundation for the entire project.
A number of issues may come up during a construction project, and an attorney from a construction law firm can help whenever something happens. For example, workers may become injured on the work site, such as getting hit by a vehicle whose operator was not looking, or workers may inhale dangerous fumes or airborne particles (lung issues are common). Workers may also suffer from slip and fall cases, exposure to heat such as blow torches, or get body parts trapped in machines or crushed under heavy items. When this happens, an injured lawyer may reach out to a personal injury law firm or a construction law firm. Similar action may be taken if a crew’s equipment is misused or gets damaged during a project, anything from knocking over a vehicle or rupturing its tires all the way to damaging a spray foam rig or a jackhammer or blow torch.
Late or absent invoices can be pursued by a crew’s construction attorney, and a late payment can slow down the entire project while a crew is waiting for the money. What is more, a crew may use their construction lawyer’s legal abilities to launch termination of a project if it is running late or over budget, or if there are an excessive number of injury or accidental damage cases that are slowing down the project. This can save money and trouble in the long run.