Construction Law FAQ

What are common legal issues in construction projects?

Common issues include contract disputes, delay claims, construction defects, insurance disputes, and compliance with safety and building regulations.


How can a construction law attorney help with contract disputes?

They can offer strategies for dispute avoidance, provide representation during negotiations, and support dispute resolution if necessary to resolve conflicts regarding contract terms and performance.


What should I do if there are defects in the construction?

Consulting a construction law attorney can help you assess liability, manage defect claims, and pursue the appropriate course of action to recover losses or correct the defects.


Can a construction law attorney assist with delay claims?

Yes, they can help document the causes of delays, calculate potential compensation, and represent you in claims for additional time and/or costs due to unforeseen project interruptions.


What is involved in filing lien and bond claims?

Filing lien and bond claims involves legal paperwork to preserve and pursue a right to payment. An attorney can guide you through the correct procedures to ensure your rights are protected.


How are insurance disputes handled in construction law?

An attorney can help clarify your coverage, negotiate with insurers, and litigate disputes to ensure you receive the protection and compensation you are entitled to under your policy.


What constitutes a construction defect?

A construction defect generally refers to a flaw in the design, materials, or workmanship that leads to failure in some aspect of a building’s structure or operation, potentially causing harm or loss of value.


Who is liable for construction defects?

Liability for construction defects can fall on various parties including developers, contractors, subcontractors, or manufacturers of building materials, depending on the cause of the defect.


How can I prove a construction defect?

Proving a construction defect typically requires demonstrating that the defect was due to negligence, breach of contract, or violation of a statute or regulation. This often involves expert inspections and documentation of the defect and its impacts.


What are my rights if I discover a construction defect?

Rights can include filing a claim for repairs, compensation for damages, or other remedies specified in the contract or covered under applicable laws/regulations.


How long do I have to file a claim for a construction defect?

The timeframe to file a claim, known as the statute of limitations, varies by jurisdiction but generally begins from the date the defect is discovered or should have been discovered.


Can an attorney help with construction defect issues?

Yes, consulting with an attorney experienced in construction law can help you navigate the legal complexities of construction defects, from identifying potentially liable parties to filing a claim and negotiating settlements.


What is a delay claim in construction?

A delay claim in construction refers to a demand for compensation due to unexpected delays that affect the project’s completion timeline.


Who can file a delay claim?

Contractors, subcontractors, or clients might be able to file delay claims if they incur additional costs or suffer losses due to delays attributable to another party.


What causes construction delays eligible for claims?

Eligible delays might include unforeseen changes in project scope, supply chain issues, or failure to perform by a party.


How do I document and prove a delay claim?

Effective documentation includes maintaining detailed records of the project timeline, correspondence, contracts, and any changes or events that contribute to the delay.


What can I recover from a delay claim?

Recovery might include extended overhead costs, additional labor costs, equipment rentals, and other direct costs incurred due to the delay.


How are delay claims resolved?

Resolution methods include negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation, depending on the contract terms and the parties’ preferred method to settle.


What is a construction lien?

A construction lien is a legal claim filed by a contractor, supplier or subcontractor against a property that they worked on.


What is a construction bond claim?

A bond claim is asserted against a surety bond that guarantees project completion and/or payment to the project’s subcontractors and suppliers; if a contractor fails to complete a project, a claim can be filed by the owner against the performance bond.; and if a contractor fails to pay, a claim can be filed by a subcontractor or supplier against the payment bond.  However, there are some stringent notice requirements that must be satisfied by the party who wants to assert a claim against a bond.




Who can file these claims?

Contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, or laborers who have not received payment can file lien or bond claims.


How do I file a lien or bond claim?

Filing procedures vary by location, but generally require submitting detailed documentation about the work and amount owed, following strict timelines.


What is the deadline to file a lien claim?

Deadlines for filing a lien claim vary by jurisdiction.  In New York State, a lien must be filed no later than eight (8) months from when the work was completed or last provided, unless the construction project is a single family residence which requires that a lien must be filed no later than four (4) months from when the work was completed or last provided.


How can these claims impact a property owner?

Liens can encumber a property, making it difficult to sell or refinance until the debt is settled. Bond claims can affect the principal’s ability to secure future bonds.


What are insurance disputes in construction?

Insurance disputes in construction involve disagreements over the coverage, claims, and payouts related to construction projects.


What types of insurance are commonly disputed in construction?

Common types include builder’s risk, general liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation insurance.


Who can be involved in these disputes?

Parties typically involved include contractors, subcontractors, project owners, insurers, and other stakeholders.


How can I prevent insurance disputes?

Clear communication, detailed contracts, and thorough documentation of all project aspects can help prevent disputes.


What should I do if I face an insurance dispute?

Consult with a construction law attorney to understand your rights and explore options for resolution.


How are insurance disputes resolved?

Disputes may be resolved through direct negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation, depending on the terms of the insurance policy and the severity of the dispute.


What is litigation in construction law?

Litigation refers to the process of resolving disputes through the court system, where a judge or jury makes the final decision.


What are the alternatives to litigation in construction disputes?

Common alternatives include mediation, where a neutral third party helps facilitate a settlement, and arbitration, where an arbitrator makes a binding decision.


When should I consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR)?

Mediation and/or arbitration (“ADR”) can be considered when parties seek a faster, potentially less costly resolution compared to traditional litigation.


What are the benefits of ADR in construction disputes?

Benefits may include reduced legal fees and quicker resolutions.


How can I initiate ADR?

ADR can often be initiated through mutual agreement between the parties, sometimes facilitated by existing clauses in their contracts.


What is risk management in construction?

Risk management involves identifying, assessing, and controlling risks that could impact a construction project’s timeline, cost, and quality.


Why is insurance important in construction?

Insurance protects against potential losses due to accidents, natural disasters, and other liabilities that can occur during construction.


What types of insurance should be considered in construction projects?

Key policies include general liability, professional liability, worker’s compensation, and builder’s risk insurance.


How can risks be effectively managed in construction?

Effective risk management requires thorough planning, clear contractual agreements, safety protocols, and regular risk assessments.


Who can help with risk management and insurance decisions?

Construction lawyers and insurance brokers with experience in the construction industry are valuable resources for advice and strategy.

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