Not Quite Legal in All 50 States

Go browsing on the Web for construction contracts and you’ll see braggadocio about some boilerplate contract being “legal in all 50 states.”
 
Claims like this show up on Web sites run by savvy people with good credentials but who should know better. Every state has the right to set unique requirements for construction contracts. And nearly all have. It’s simply foolish to claim any construction contract is “legal in all 50 states.”
 
You can take this to the bank: There’s no home improvement contract that’s legal in all 50 states. I’ll go one step further: There’s no contract for residential construction that’s legal in all 50 states. You won’t even find a contract for commercial construction that’s legal in most states. That’s not the way it works.
 
Construction contract law varies from state to state the same way income tax law varies from state to state. Imagine the reaction if you tried to file a New York or Texas income tax return with the Montana Department of Revenue. You’d probably be breaking the law in two states.
 
It’s the same with construction contracts. Nearly all states require specific disclosures, set unique limits or void certain types of clauses in construction contracts. No two states are alike. And most states impose heavy penalties for doing construction work under a contract that doesn’t meet state code. Fines up to $1,000 are common, as is the threat of jail time.
 
Even if you aren’t concerned about fines and jail time, consider the impact if you get into a dispute before collecting final payment. The attorney for your client won’t be impressed with your “legal in all 50 states” contract. More likely, you’ll discover that the contract is either partially or totally unenforceable under state law. Game over! You lose. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit. You’re not going to collect another dime on that contract. If opposing counsel is charitable, you’ll escape discipline from the state board. Persist and you’ll get an invitation to do the perp walk at a state hearing.
 
When you see the claim, “legal in all 50 states,” I recommend thinking “probably not legal in any state.” The latter is far more likely than the former.
 
So how do you judge if some boilerplate contract is legal? If you’re paying the $10 to $150 that most vendors change for a download, you’ve got the right to know: Is it really legal in my state?
 
I can recommend a Web site. It’s free. Construction-Contract.net has a good selection of state-specific home improvement, residential and commercial construction contracts. Even better, the site lists laws in each state that set minimums for construction contracts. Before buying any boilerplate contract or contract package, compare what the law requires in your state with what the vendor is offering. If the vendor’s contract comes up short, save your money.

Construction Accident Attorney

Construction accident attorneys are legal professionals whose role is to cater for construction related accidents and incidents. Their responsibility lies in ensuring that the people injured in a construction site are well compensated by the ones responsible for those accidents. They cater all legal matters geared at sustaining legal proceedings against the employer/construction company and their respective insurance companies so that the accident victims are adequately compensated.

Jurisdiction

Construction accident attorneys are trained in areas of law to cater for the welfare of construction workers and other injured construction site stake holders. They serve a wide range of construction site accident prone workers like electricians, roofers, plumbers and cart operators, among others.

They operate on the premise that worker safety at the construction site lies squarely with the owners of the buildings and their contractors. The responsibility for the safety measures at the construction sites also lies with the site engineers and other registered construction site professionals like architects and designers. In fact, recent studies show that construction accidents mainly occur because of negligence and carelessness on the part of these professionals. It is therefore, the duty of the construction accident attorney to make these professionals accountable.

Working

Most construction accident attorneys are either employed at law firms or in private practice, based on their academic qualifications. However, most of them are employed by law firms whose target market is the construction and real estate industry. When accidents occur at construction sites, they are among the first people to be dispatched to the said construction sites. Their role is to collect relevant evidence, exhibits, testimonies, witness statements together with the police and other relevant reports from the site of the accident, adequate enough to help them sustain trial. Their biggest responsibility however lies in how much they can link contractor or employer negligence and carelessness to the accidents.

They also provide initial legal advice to the injured in terms of making legal representation, so that they are not swindled or harassed. On most occasions, they normally file immediate law suits against the parties whose failures led to the accidents, as soon as possible to avoid distortion and interference.

Costs and charges

Whereas construction accidents handle common legal rights issues, most construction accident attorneys charge differently for their services. Some of the factors that may affect the Construction accident attorney charges include:

1. Size of construction-The bigger the construction site, the higher the legal fees cost.

2. Size of settlement- Incidentally, the larger the settlement being sought, the higher the costs in legal fees.

3. Type of law firm- different law firms charge differently, according to their professionalism,

success rate and tradition which may vary the cost of their representation. Recent studies also reveal that there are umbrella organisations which offer free legal representation to the injured in these cases, and so on.

In general, construction accident attorneys play a very important role that is in the interests of any construction worker, regarding accidents at their lace of work. Looking through your city’s legal brochures and classifieds can help you get a suitable one if in need of one.

Some Essential Points To Consider When Hiring A Construction Lawyer

There will be times in your life when you will face some legal issues. Some of them may just be simple. But for sure, there will be others that can get a bit complicated. There may even be those that will require you to go to court. It’s especially the case if you own a business. You cannot avoid facing legal matters from time to time, particularly if your enterprise is expanding. That’s why most entrepreneurs find it necessary to hire a lawyer to help them out. However, this is easier said than done. You have to secure the services of a lawyer whom you can really trust.

Note that there are so many different areas of legal practice. This means that these legal professionals also have their specific fields of specialization. So if you’re going to choose your legal representative, you have to choose one who is experienced enough in the legal field you need assistance on. Take for example hiring the right construction lawyer. You cannot just pick someone who is quite reputable in the field of commercial laws. The scope is too broad and there are so many various areas that need to be covered. You have to look for someone who really specializes in construction laws.

So how do you go about hiring the appropriate legal candidate? First and foremost, you have to consider the degree of experience the legal professional has in this field. How long has he been engaged in the active practice, specifically in the field of construction law and litigation? What types of cases has he handled as far as this area is concerned? Second, you also have to take into account his knowledge of current construction laws. These laws are subject to change often. Thus, he must be able to keep abreast of such changes and be very familiar with them.

Third, try to find out what affiliations he has. Is he currently associated with a firm or company that also specializes in the construction industry? Is he a member in good standing of the legal associations in your area? You can utilize your online resources in order to learn more about the legal professional’s profile. You can even use such resources to look up testimonials and other reviews given by previous clientele. Fourth and last, check if the practitioner is indeed licensed to practice in your area. You can look up his membership in the bench and bar in the state where he is currently engaged in active practice.