Construction and the Law

The construction industry is massive, and as of 2016, the American construction market was estimated to have a value of $1.162 trillion. All across the nation, construction crews are working on projects for homes or commercial buildings ranging from suburban homes to banks, schools, office buildings, and shopping malls, and legal precedent is tightly woven into this business to make sure that everything is done safety and legally. Crews intending to build homes can contact a commercial real estate law firm to make sure that new homes being built are in line with current codes and regulations of building safety and standards, and this is also for the protection of the crews who are working on a project. Personal injury firms or a commercial real estate law firm may be contacted if a worker was hurt on the workplace, and a construction attorney can handle a wide variety of grievances that occur on the work site. A commercial real estate law firm may also be contacted if one or more parties in the project is late with giving promised payments, or if one party suspects that another has committed wrongful termination of a project. A construction lawyer can handle a wide variety of jobs to make sure that any project goes smoothly.

The Work of a Commercial Real Estate Law Firm

What is a construction law firm needed for? Even if a project does not suffer any issues, it is important that all paperwork for the project is in line, such as invoices from one party to another, legally binding contracts, blueprints for the project, and liability paperwork, among others, and any and every party’s legal representatives can look over these papers to make sure that they are practical, fair, and legal, and make revisions or recommend other courses of action if need be. Good paperwork at the start can prevent issues later.

How bad can a situation get? The American Arbitration Association, the AAA, has worked with massive construction law cases before, which serve as an example of how big these cases can get. In the year 2015, for example, the AAA handled 551 different construction industry cases worth $500,000 or more. The biggest mediated case was worth $2.6 billion, and the most expensive arbitration case was worth $96 million. All together, the claims and counterclaims were worth $5.5 billion. The biggest single case settled with one arbiter was worth $232 million, and the smallest case was for just $23,000.

Work Sites and Law

Lawyers can be used by all parties in a construction case if something goes wrong, and there are a few major categories of problems. One is late or absent invoice payments; the paperwork at the project’s start will outline who pays which party for what, and late payments can frustrate crews and slow down the entire project, so legal aid may be needed to get the late payment and find out what the issue was with payment. Another issue may be with work site injury or equipment misuse. Workers may become hurt by slipping and falling, breathing dangerous fumes or airborne particles, getting body parts trapped in machines or under heavy items, or getting run over by vehicles whose operators were not looking. Equipment misuse can result in expensive damage to items like backhoes, excavators, jackhammers, spray paint guns, spray foam rigs, and much more. When a worker gets injured in such a case, that worker may want to contact a commercial real estate law firm or a personal injury law firm to get legal representation and seek settlement from whatever party is believed to be at fault for the incident.

Another issue may termination of the project. If a work site is going way over budget, or if there are many incidents of worksite injuries or equipment damage, a crew may decide that it is time to cancel the project before any more disaster can take place, and a construction lawyer will help with that. Conversely, if a crew feels that another contractor crew launched wrongful termination of the project, they can use their own legal representation to negotiate this and find the right solution. No one will want a construction project canceled for the wrong reasons.

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