Resolving Construction Disputes Effectively

When customers are disappointed with the work that a contractor has carried out, construction disputes can often develop. The customer may feel the building firm has not undertaken all the work agreed upon, or they may be dissatisfied with the quality of the workmanship. If the dispute cannot be resolved outside the legal system, litigation may be necessary, and customers will need the services of a barrister.

Written Quotes and Payment Schedules – Many construction disputes can be averted if customers take some straightforward precautions at the outset. Before engaging a builder, customers should look for, and verify, references. It is vitally important to engage a reputable building firm. Customers should also look for a detailed, written and signed quote. This should state clearly what work is to be carried out, and list the payment schedule.

Remain unemotional – If construction disputes do arise, the first step to resolve them should be to discuss the difficulties with the building firm. This should be done in a non-accusatory and unemotional manner. The aim is to come to a satisfactory decision, and this will be harder to achieve if there is a lot of acrimony between the parties.

Trying to get a speedy resolution in construction disputes may be particularly important when building work comes to a halt because of the dispute. This will be a prime concern if the work is being carried out on the family home. You should bear in mind that your building firm will be just as anxious as you are to reach a satisfactory agreement.

Professional Intermediaries – If you feel uncomfortable holding direct discussions with your builder, you could consider hiring a chartered surveyor or an architect to deal with the building firm on your behalf. If you have had plans prepared for the work being done, then the person who created the plans could be your best option.

Mediation – The next step in resolving construction disputes is to try mediation. Subject to both parties agreeing to it, the difficulties can be raised before an independent expert. That expert will try to get a legally non-binding agreement between the disputing parties.

Adjudication – Appointing an adjudicator to decide on the issues involved is a more formal way of dealing with construction disputes. The process is comparable to mediation or conciliation in that the facts are shown to a third-party expert. Adjudication differs in that the adjudicator’s decision will be binding, but it can be challenged in a court action.

Arbitration – Arbitration is another alternative in resolving disputes. If mediation is not considered, then this method is of construction dispute resolution is next in line for being the most used. The principal difference between arbitration and adjudication is that both parties agree beforehand that the arbitrator’s decision will be binding.

Civil Legal Action – If no resolution can be found in construction disputes after following one or more of the steps outlined above, the only option may be to take legal action. Before committing to legal action, you should discuss the matter with a legal professional to determine the probability of success. There are many factors to bear in mind, and a qualified barrister is the one who is best placed to advise clients on whether they should proceed or not.

Which type of legal council, solicitor or barrister? – Some people choose to seek the advice of a solicitor at this stage, however very often a solicitor will take on the case and then they themselves will seek the advice of a specialist barrister. This causes delays to you and you will receive both costs.

Many barristers will normally detail their particular areas of specialisation on their websites. As a consequence, individuals who are involved at this stage of a construction dispute are finding it easy to discover, consult and perhaps engage a barrister that has the appropriate expertise, and so save themselves both time and money.

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).

Getting a Lawyer for Construction Litigation

Almost all big businesses have in-house legal counsel for advice and assistance. However, this may not be so for smaller businesses. Whether your construction business has in-house lawyers or not, getting a specialized lawyer for litigation is essential when you are party to a legal dispute.

Construction litigation may involve a variety of issues – disputes pertaining to monetary issues with contractors or sub-contractors, disputes resulting from injuries due to construction defects, construction defect and property damage, and such others. How do these lawyers differ from the rest? Why do you need to find one for representation?

Here are a few important reasons for this.

Federal as well as state laws (Florida Statutes) may be applicable on construction litigation. This is a specific legal domain, and only a lawyer with adequate knowledge of these is capable of handling such matters.

Many of these cases involve multiple parties. If your lawyer does not have the necessary experience in this field, it is difficult to handle the complexity associated with multi-party lawsuits.

Negotiation skills are an essential, especially if the issues involve monetary problems. Whether it is negotiating a payment with a contractor or injury compensation settlement with a victim, your lawyer needs to know how to do it right.

Awareness of the alternative dispute resolution tactics to utilize is also essential. Whether it is mediation or arbitration, if your lawyer knows about it, it could be of immense help to your case.

Not all cases reach a resolution with these methods. This is even more reason for you to appoint a competent Miami construction litigation lawyer to represent you at trial, if the necessity arises.

How do you find such a lawyer? If you have in-house legal counsel, you may ask them for referral. If you do not have this option, it is better to consider using online resources for help. You are sure to find numerous legal practitioners working in this field from the directories and listings.

However, just any lawyer would not do. A thorough research helps assess which construction litigation lawyer would be suitable for your case. Look up the credentials of the lawyer online, check out the experience and success details, contact the local bar association for information, and look for client testimonials.

The field of construction litigation is varied – and you need to find a legal professional specializing in the specific kinds of cases that match yours. This way it becomes easier to ensure capable legal representation in a legal dispute.