The construction industry is complex, bringing together operations across many different fields to complete major projects. Construction law is likewise complex, and covers construction, engineering, finance, real estate and other fields. Lawyers for construction companies may have practice areas covering contracts, commercial law, planning, labor law, and torts. Large construction companies may face legal issues such as faulty installation claims or injuries. Involving experienced construction lawyers at every stage of a project may help to prevent problems or to resolve them quickly when they do arise.
What does construction law cover?
Construction law covers all the areas that pertain to fields like construction, contracts, employment planning, commercial law, and planning, among others. Construction projects can be vast and complex undertakings, and construction law is correspondingly complex. There are federal, state, and local regulations concerning construction and associated industries. Federal workplace regulations on safety and employment may be supplemented by state rules.
There are often environmental considerations as well. Construction may also be regulated by local ordinances on zoning and noise. Legal issues that often arise in the course of construction projects concern contracts, injuries and accidents, construction defects or faulty construction, and planning or building permits.
Why do businesses need a construction lawyer?
There are several different kinds of legal issues and problems can arise in the course of a construction project. Construction law affects many people connected to the industry, including planners, builders, architects, engineers, and financial institutions. Construction lawyers may deal with such issues as legal contract, negligence, bonds and liens, guarantees, tendering, construction claims, and consultancy contracts.
Contract, defects, and workplace injuries are common problems that can come up in any project and must be addressed. Getting legal help and advice at an early stage can help to head off major problems. The involvement of construction lawyers at every stage can prevent many problems to begin with, and problems that do arise can be settled quickly and speedily. This is also the reason why lawyers in the construction industry typically prefer arbitration to court trials.
Arbitration in the construction industry
Arbitration is the preferred form of dispute resolution in the construction industry. Arbitration has a number of advantages over judicial processes that can be costly and time-consuming. Arbitration processes typically are quicker, and on average are completed within eight months. In 2015, the average length of time for an arbitration case in the construction industry was 232 days from the initial filing to the final award.
Lawyers for construction companies can help the arbitration process move along smoothly. The amounts of money involved are typically large, totaling $ 5.5 billion in 2015. In the same year, the construction industry brought 551 cases to the American Arbitration Association that had claims worth $500,000 or more. The value of the largest mediated construction case was $2.6 billion, and the largest construction case arbitrated was worth $96 million.
Construction projects can be complex, and legal issues may cover a wide number of issues pertaining to contract, real estate, labor law, planning, and more. Most problems in the construction industry are resolved through arbitration, which is quicker and less costly than a court trial. Involving lawyers for construction companies at every stage of a project may help in preventing problems from arising in the first place. They can also help resolve them quickly before they spin out of control.