Parties involved in construction projects typically have to coordinate numerous contracts and manage the expectations and obligations of multiple entities. It is not uncommon for disagreements to arise on construction projects, many of which can be settled by the parties; some disputes, though, cannot be resolved without legal intervention. If you are engaged in a construction dispute, it is smart to speak to an attorney about what measures you can take to protect your interests. The assertive construction litigation attorneys of Croessmann & Westberg, P.C., are well-versed in what it takes to present a winning case, and we will work tirelessly to help you pursue a prompt and fair resolution.Preventing Construction Disputes
Parties who agree to work together on construction projects often have amicable relationships and, therefore, may be tempted to forego hiring an attorney to assist them with drafting and executing contracts for services. Regardless of how harmonious a business relationship may be, though, it is prudent for anyone considering entering into a contract on a construction project to retain an attorney. A lawyer can review the agreement to ensure that it contains the terms necessary to protect a party’s rights, such as delay damage provisions, liability waivers, and force majeure clauses. An attorney can also make sure that the terms of the contract are clear to avoid disputes over ambiguities and help avoid any unnecessary or unjust language.The Construction Dispute
Multiple scenarios can cause disagreements on construction projects; however, most lawsuits arising out of construction disputes assert claims of breach of contract, negligent construction, and fraud. Disagreements may arise between the owner and general contractor or between a subcontractor and the general contractor. The burden of proof imposed on the parties, the applicable statute of limitations, and the damages available will vary depending on the claims asserted.Breach of Contract
Construction projects typically involve multiple contracts. If one party neglects to uphold the duties imposed by a contract, the other party to the contract may be able to recover damages. Breach of contract claims often arise out of the failure to perform work or provide compensation per the terms of the contract. Generally, a plaintiff alleging a breach of contract claim must prove a valid contract exists between the parties, the defendant breached a material term of the contract, and the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the breach. In other words, they must cite the precise contractual provision that was violated and prove that its damages were directly attributable to the defendant’s refusal to comply with the provision.Missing and Late Payments
In many cases, an owner or general contractor will fail to make payments in accordance with the contract. In such cases, the party owed money can pursue claims against them in a civil lawsuit. They may also be able to file a mechanic’s lien, which essentially prevents the property owner from transferring the property prior to paying the debt.Construction Fraud
Construction fraud claims assert that a party engaged in intentional as opposed to negligent acts that caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. Typically, to prove construction fraud, a plaintiff must show that the defendant made a false representation with the intent of inducing the plaintiff to rely on the assertion and that the plaintiff justifiably relied on the false statement to their detriment. For example, if a subcontractor advised a general contactor it would use a certain quality of material and failed to do so, the general contractor may be able to prove the lie amounted to construction fraud.Speak to an Experienced Construction Law Attorney
Construction projects often start without issue, but relations can rapidly decline, and disagreements on construction projects can be stressful and costly. If you need assistance navigating a construction contract or dispute, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced lawyers of Croessmann & Westberg, P.C. are proficient at managing issues related to construction projects, and we can assist you in protecting your rights. If you engage our services, we will develop a unique strategy to help you seek an efficient and just resolve. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at (703) 483-3550 to set up a confidential meeting.