Construction is a major industry in the United States today, and many billions of dollars every year go toward constructing homes, commercial buildings, dams, and more, but any project undertaken involves multiple parties, and all these parties will have to coordinate their efforts, and their paperwork, to make sure that the project goes smoothly and that every party is compensated correctly for the work being done. The project manager, the crew setting up the concrete foundation, the team that sets up electric work, and other crews will work together and will each want a lawyer on hand in case something goes wrong and there is a dispute. Problems such as late payments, injuries due to misused equipment or dangerous work conditions, or wrongfully terminating a project can come up, and if such a complication crops up, a construction lawyer will be ready to handle it and represent their side of the issue. A construction attorney can also be a point of reference for building codes, payments, designing the building, and more, and they are very useful even if no actual problems or disputes happen partway through a construction project. If a labor law violation comes up, a construction law firm may offer an attorney to handle that, too.
Construction and Law
Unfortunately, construction law firms have to be ready if a large case comes up during a project, and a lawyer will either prosecute an offending party or launch litigation in the case of disaster or late payments, or other issues. In the past, some such cases have reached a massive scale, although this should not necessarily be considered the norm. For reference, the American Arbitration Association has stated that its biggest case ever resolved by one arbitrator was for a claim of $232 million, while the smallest one was for a claim worth only $23,000. Meanwhile, in 2015, the single largest mediated case was worth an entire $2.6 billion, and the total value for claims and counter claims made that year was close to $5.5 billion. A lawyer, or a team of them, can represent a worker’s or a construction crew’s legal interests if such a case were to come up, but naturally, anyone would hope that it does not come to that.
What is the work of a lawyer who works with construction crews? This attorney has a wide variety of responsibilities even if there are no disputes or lawsuits related to the ongoing project and the contractors involved in it. Any professional construction job will involve paperwork for payments to be made, following local and state construction codes and safety guidelines, permission from the city for building on land, equipment and vehicle rentals, and workers’ rights for safety and hours worked. A lawyer for any party involved will look over the paperwork, and being a specialized expert for construction and the law, such a lawyer will know what to look for when he or she makes sure that all paperwork is properly done and is fair to the lawyer’s client. Any unfair or otherwise improper paperwork may have to be settled between two or more parties and their attorneys before a project can move forward.
Various hazards must not be present during the construction project, and a lawyer will make sure that codes for noise, pollution, fire, slipping hazards, water damage, and much more are followed so that such hazards do not appear. If these hazards do present themselves, and someone gets hurt on them, an injured worker may reach out to a law firm for representation and look for settlement money due to their workplace injury. A construction lawyer working for a related party may defend the other party and the two lawyers will come to a settlement. What is more, during a project, a lawyer will make sure that payments and invoices are made on time, and if they are late or absent, that lawyer make take action against the negligent party. Finally, if one party in a project wrongfully terminates the entire project, a lawyer may look into this and reverse that decision. Conversely, if a party feels that it should rightfully terminate a construction project, that party’s lawyer can proceed with the paperwork to make that happen.