Michigan Construction Lawyer
Construction projects are normally complex and very involved endeavors which have a number of legal concerns. This can be for residential, commercial and industrial building projects, renovations and new construction. In many cases, legal issues and litigation do not come up until a project is well on its way. This creates a difficult situation due to all parties trying to balance their time between legal issues and the construction project itself.
Consulting with an attorney specializing in construction law and litigation before signing a contract or starting a construction project is strongly advised in order to prevent situations like this from occurring in the first place. Our team of expert construction law attorneys have over three decades of experience representing our clients in construction matters as well as drafting, reviewing and analyzing construction documents, contracts and labor agreements.
There are a wide number of factors and issues that are covered under the umbrella of construction law. As mentioned previously, one of the most important concerns are construction contracts signed between the person or business hiring the work and the contractors and/or construction company involved in doing the work in the first place. While these contracts can seem straightforward, they often lack certain contingencies and protections for the party hiring out work – placing them at significant and unnecessary risk.
In addition to the sorting out of contracts, another concern surrounding construction law is the handling of mistakes in workmanship and defects in work that surface after the job is completed. When hiring a construction company, typically there isn’t an expectation of defects or mistakes in the work. Because of this, oftentimes these issues are not even thought about until after they happen and the customer is left to handle the legal mess as to who is responsible. Having contingencies in place to deal with these issues before they happen is critical to protect against potentially expensive legal battles and repair costs that should’ve been covered by the contractor in the first place.
Workforce and labor disputes are another serious issue for enterprise scale construction projects involving a large number of workers and contractors. This can be anything from payment disputes, termination of contactors or workers, to site environmental issues that organized labor finds objectionable. While it is best to have contingencies in place to handle these issues as they arise, sometimes unforeseen circumstances and events occur which requires fast thinking and critical analysis by legal professionals in order to best protect client interests.
Another common issue related to construction law is change orders, and how they are handled. Sometimes there are errors in the design or layout of a construction project, or the desires of the client change and requests are made to change construction plans. Because of the advance scheduling of crews, materials and other resources, this can cause major issues for contractors and construction companies, often resulting in legal ramifications for the client. When there is the possibility of change orders, it is important that these are reviewed by legal counsel to ensure that the client will face minimal legal and financial repercussions. If disputes over change orders arise, working with an attorney to sort things out can save a tremendous amount of headache and money in the long run.
Safety protocols and regulations are an important part of construct sites, and carry with them many legal risks and concerns. This is mainly due to the dangerous nature of construction site equipment, much of it being heavy machinery such as excavation equipment, trucks, and even overhead & gantry cranes. This is such a concern that The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a specific set of guidelines for different types of construction equipment to ensure safe operations.
Accidents resulting in injury and even death may occur if these guidelines are not followed, costing construction companies millions in settlements for injury and wrongful death suits. This also causes irreparable damage to the contractors reputation, as well as tarnishing the reputation of the construction project itself, creating possible headaches for the end user. As a result, it is vital that these guidelines be followed. In many cases, it makes sense to even exceed these requirements with inexpensive and common sense precautions, such as equipping heavy equipment like cranes with safety lighting to prevent easily avoidable accidents. All of this is key to prevent litigation and show due diligence in safety on the part of the contractor.
Contact a Construction Law Attorney
As clearly shown above, construction law is a complex and difficult area to navigate. There are major risks involved stemming from the combination of business contracts, labor concerns and site safety considerations. Working with an attorney specializing in construction law before and during a major project is vital to ensure both legal and financial protection for those involved.
Our construction law attorneys have many years of experience working with clients who are designing, planning and hiring out residential, commercial and industrial construction projects and renovations. If you are starting a construction or building project and are in need of legal assistance, please contact our office today to schedule an consultation.