Construction Lawyer – What Does He or She Do?

The construction industry is no stranger to legal “punch ups” and the person you want to see when that happens is your expert construction lawyer. But what exactly do they do?

Skills of the expert construction lawyer

A construction lawyer is a trained and experienced legal professional who understands the issues you face in the construction industry.

Whether you are an employer of construction skills, a head contractor, subcontractor, supplier or consultant to the industry, your experienced construction lawyer can help you with most of your legal challenges, or at least highlight to you any legal issues that you should be aware of that are outside their scope of expertise and direct you to a colleague who can help you.

Quality construction lawyers are generally experts in two main areas when it comes to construction matters:

1. “front end” work, which includes:

  • contract drafting and negotiation
  • general advice on structuring your business entities for asset protection
  • advice on suitable business documents and contract administration systems and procedures for minimizing your exposure to legal claims… and more

2. “back end” work, which includes:

  • advice regarding options for resolving disputes
  • general advice regarding issues that may arise during contract works execution
  • litigation expertise
  • expertise in assisting with applying alternative dispute resolution methods negotiating resolutions to disputes and seeking alternative solutions for commercial parties so they can proceed with a project without delay… and more

When should you engage a construction lawyer?

Well I’m sure you know the answer to this question already but so few construction professionals heed this advice. You should speak to your expert lawyer at the earliest possible time.

Why? Because when you get them to assist you in the early phase of your project or business you can avoid many more potential problems. Too often I see people draft their own inadequate contracts or sign up to draconian contracts prepared by other parties which include personal guarantees, and then when things move into a dispute phase they are already up the proverbial creek without a means of propulsion… if you know what I mean.

If you wait until you have already run aground (entered into a dispute) to try and change the course of your ship (your business and livelihood), it may well be too late. You see, the cost of engaging a construction lawyer at the start of your project will be about 10% of the cost of just one dispute (in the life of your project) going to court. So consider the math when next time the opportunity presents itself.

The cost of learning from your own mistakes over years of construction industry experience can be a costly one and, in some cases, more than you may have to pay for it. Even then, if you happen to know all the laws at a particular point in time (which is most unlikely), the laws are constantly changing and you’ll never be sure if you know when and how they have changed. The construction lawyer’s job, however, is to know what is about to change before it happens and they will share that invaluable advice with you to prepare you for that change.

The good construction companies with bigger budgets do tend to diligently seek out expert construction legal advice but even they skip this step on some projects… and on further occasion, they live to regret it. If you’re a small to medium sized operator in the construction industry, you cannot afford to take that risk, particularly on larger projects that tie up much of your cash flow.

Creating Construction Site Safety Plans By Weighing All Your Options

Safety is an important factor in any working environment and it plays such a crucial role in the construction industry which governments have made it a requirement to create construction site safety plans for every active site. This makes it a requirement which any company trying to incorporate themselves in a construction opportunity not only try to win bids so as to discover new contracts, but to even include construction safety plans into every project prior to the start of construction. For these companies it now will become essential to find the best opportunity available to them in order to develop these plans and start the construction process.

When looking to satisfy the demand of construction site safety plans it becomes crucial that you utilise the best service available to accomplish your objectives. For years, most construction companies have made the decision that the services of a legal organisation represent their greatest opportunity for plan generation.

As these plans change from location to location and are subjected to new legal demands several businesses look towards a legal mind to create a construction safety plan that meets all the legal demands placed upon them. Needless to say, pursuing this avenue of possibility usually is accompanied by a handful of cons as you are required to pay the high fees related to legal services and being subjected to their schedule, often delaying projects or bidding.

For a long time there were no alternatives to the legal pursuit beyond spending a great deal of time on your own, researching the appropriate documentation and studying the construction laws of the area in which you’re working. While this path might assist you in avoiding the high fees of attorneys, it could also create longer development time frames as you seek to satisfy the construction site safety plan demands.

An advantage for these companies has been developed that might help in expediting the development process, allowing savings of both time and money over the legal alternative. This is discovered when you take advantage of construction safety plan templates. These templates serve as an easily adjusted solution to allow customisation for any construction site through easy steps.

It is vital to point out though that templates have been developed before and these possibilities are normally complicated as a result of the complexity which exists with customising them. When you’re able to take advantage of the best templates available, you’re able to save cash by avoiding legal fees and save time with the quick customisation of these construction site safety plan templates.

I Got Hurt at Work – Construction Site Edition

Construction work is one of the most classic occupations in the United States. Every town and city was built on the hard work of industrious people willing to put their well-being on the line to get the job done. Unfortunately, from time to time, accidents occur and deeply effect the lives of workers and their families.

The most important thing to remember about construction site accidents is the broad range of damage that can be dealt. Injury can be something as mundane as repetitive stress to something as serious as death by explosion. Construction workers have to keep their eyes and ears open for an extremely wide variety of hazards.

This article is here to explore the most common ways people get hurt in the construction industry, the kinds of stresses they have to deal with post-accident, and what can be done legally to get the proper compensation.

Discussing Common Workplace Accidents:

Let’s analyze some of the most common accidents that occur on the construction site.

* Falling Accidents. When it comes to construction, there are often scenarios where workers need to negotiate elevated locations. Some examples include scaffolding, girders, building structures, and building exteriors. Falling from even a modest height can result in serious injury or death.

* Falling Objects. It’s not always the person that falls – many times it’s objects. During construction lots of material is being broken, put together, and moved around. This breeds a lot of opportunity for unsuspecting workers to get an unpleasant surprise from above.

* Equipment/Vehicle Incident. Most jobs involve more than simple hand tools. Complex construction equipment and vehicles provide a constant challenge for workers to both get a job done on time, but to also do it safely. As equipment gets older, the risks tend to increase.

* Exertion Injury. Construction work is often synonymous with manual labor. Any time extreme amounts of physical exertion are in play there is a possibility for injury. Examples often include lifting strain, repetitive stress disorder, tendonitis, and general body wear-and-tear.

* Chemical Incidents. Spills, exposure, and other unpleasant interactions with chemicals are a serious concern for many construction workers. There are often harsh cleansers, lubricants, and other chemicals involved in the overall construction plan of a job, and overexposure is not terribly uncommon.

* Fire/Explosion. Sometimes related to the chemicals cited above, fire and explosion is another reality of the construction site. High pressure equipment and volatile material can cause serious burns or worse to workers how are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Results of Construction Accidents:

Just as unfortunate as the accident itself is some of the results that occur afterwards. Many people either do not see some of these issues coming, or don’t know how to handle them. Let’s analyze a few examples:

* Extensive medical bills from various injuries occurred on the job.

* Missed shifts and time at work, resulting in loss of wages.

* Reduced ability to perform work at the same level as before injury.

* Usage of personal days / sick days beyond those available.

* Negative pressure from bosses, coworkers, etc to either hide injury or report it in fraudulent ways.

* Shift work from full-time to light duty or reduced responsibilities.

Problems after an injury end to pile up, and it can be extremely difficult handling them, especially from a legal perspective.

Securing Proper Legal Counsel

It is important to get legal counsel so that you aren’t susceptible to the wims of insurance companies and construction firms. Unfortunately, general practice lawyers are rarely equipped to deal with the complexities of the large construction industry. Therefore it is important to locate a skilled construction law specialist.

It’s even better if you can find one in your area to reduce the costs of long distance representation (if it is even an option).