The construction industry stands as one of the largest in the United States, and as of 2016, this market was worth just over $1 trillion. This may not come as a surprise; after all, thousands of construction crews big and small are working hard to build today’s bridges, schools, libraries, shopping malls, and residential homes. A lot of manpower, materials, and tools and vehicles are used for this work, which also means that there are sometimes liabilities or hazards to consider. Construction is known for its hazards on the work site, and for this reason, a construction attorney may be retained by a construction team in case something should go wrong. A construction law firm may be contacted when a new contractor company is formed, and having a construction attorney or construction lawyer can do a lot of good in case of an incident. A related field is that of commercial real estate law, which can also be helpful. What is there to know about construction attorney work and a project today?
The Size of the Industry
Due to the construction industry’s enormous scale, litigation and arbitrated court cases may end up being quite large and expensive, and the American Arbitration Association, the AAA, often handles them. Just how big might these cases be? Back in 2015, for a recent example, this Association administered a total of 551 construction industry cases worth $500,000 or more each. The largest of the mediated construction cases was worth $2.6 billion, and the largest arbitration case came out to 496 million. In that year, the total value of all claims and counter-claims was an impressive $5.5 billion. A construction contractor team may hire or retain construction attorneys to help them navigate litigation or court and get the desired outcome and settlement money for an injury case or property damage, just to name two examples. These construction attorneys are deeply familiar with the business of construction, ranging from personal injury law for workers all the way to handling wrongful termination of a project up to late or missing invoices from another contractor on the project.
A Project and the Law
When a construction project is launched, a number of contractors will be assembled and pool their skills, manpower, materials, and equipment to finish the job. This may range from digging and pouring the foundation to installing plumbing and spray foam installation to installing an elevator. This means that paperwork must be done to keep the teams coordinated, and handle invoices that they charge each other for material or equipment use. As a project begins, construction attorneys will look over and approve paperwork for all of this, and such lawyers can also make sure that state and city codes and guidelines for safety and fire hazards are being followed.
If a worker is injured on the construction site, that worker may want compensation, especially if their injuries might prevent them from doing paying work in the future. A worker might get hit by a construction vehicle whose operator is not looking, for example, or they may get arms or legs trapped in machines or under heavy loads. Other hazards include slipping and falling onto a hard surface from a great height or inhaling harmful chemical fumes or airborne dust and particles. Should this happen, a construction worker may make use of their team’s construction attorney to pursue litigation against a perceived at-fault party, or they may even look for personal injury law firms in particular. A lawyer from one of these firms may represent their client in litigation and seek compensation.
Construction attorneys may also be consulted if a piece of hardware becomes damaged, lost, or misused by another team, and such equipment may be expensive to repair or replace. Property damage as well as personal injury may be a common issue that these construction attorney will handle during a project. If another contractor team is very late making an invoice payment or clearly will not pay it a tall, the lawyer for the creditor party may pursue litigation for that too. Finally, if another party launched wrongful termination of a construction project, another crew’s lawyer may undergo some paperwork to investigate that suspicious termination and possibly attempt to reverse it.