When dealing with construction projects of any size, disputes are likely. There are lots of different people involved in a construction project — property owners, general contractors, designers, engineers, and architects all play a role. If one of those contractors or subcontractors makes an error, an owner fails to disclose something or runs into financial issues, or someone gets injured, there will probably be a dispute to settle. That’s where a construction dispute attorney Del Mar can help!
The most common cause of construction disputes is failure to comply with contractual obligations. This can happen in a variety of ways. For example, if a project is delayed due to an error, financial issues, or unforeseen circumstances, a vaguely worded contract can cause a dispute over who is entitled to compensation for the damages caused by the delay.
Another common cause of disputes is owner-directed changes. When a property owner changes the plans for a project, whether a large change or a small change, it can often lead to disputes because it requires contractors to make changes as well. Contractors also have schedules to maintain as well as equipment, materials, and labor costs. In most of these situations, parties disagree on who should cover the added costs, requiring a construction dispute attorney Del Mar to help settle the issue.
Similar to the previous cause, another often-cited reason for construction disputes is errors or omissions. This can refer specifically to a contract where things have been left out leaving room for arguments. But this can also refer to design and construction errors and omissions. If, for example, someone creates specifications for a project but leaves out an important component that is needed for structural soundness or functionality, then those designs need modified — causing changes and delays. Similarly, if a contractor installs something incorrectly and that mistake needs remedied, this can cause a dispute as well.
The final most common reason for construction disputes is events that are outside of the control of all parties involved. For example, if say, a global pandemic was to unexpectedly occur, or if there was a flash flood that prevents the construction from continuing immediately. These types of events are typically included in a force majeure clause of the contract that frees all parties from liability or obligation. This leads to questions of who is responsible for covering the added costs, unless a construction dispute attorney Del Mar has helped craft a sound contract that explicitly states what happens in the cases of these kinds of events.
Failure to adhere to or a misunderstanding of contractual obligations is what usually leads to a dispute. This is why it’s incredibly important to have a construction dispute attorney Del Mar look over your contracts BEFORE you sign them or submit them to another party. Having an experienced lawyer help you craft your construction project contracts can save you from liability issues and payment problems down the road.
With a clearly-defined contract, most disputes can be resolved simply through the contract’s terms. In cases where a contract has unclear expectations or the specific problem the parties are dealing with is not laid out in the text, then a construction dispute attorney Del Mar will be useful for arbitration or litigation.
To prevent a construction dispute, you want to be sure that you:
a) Have a clearly-written and thorough contract for the project
b) Hire competent and experienced contractors and subcontractors
c) Ensure the owner has the financial capital for the project
d) Follow the specifications and plans
e) Hire a construction dispute attorney Del Mar to advise you throughout the project
Our attorneys have been working in the construction industry for over 30 years. We can advise you on the best practices to avoid construction disputes using the prevention methods mentioned above, and we can also help you with arbitration and litigation if you run into unforeseen problems down the line. Dealing with a construction dispute can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s always important to have an experienced construction dispute attorney Del Mar looking out for your interests. Contact us to discuss your specific circumstances and find out how we can help.