Making money in construction usually requires keeping expenses in check. While you may be able to predict the costs of materials, labor, permits and other ordinary expenses, litigation can leave your bottom line vulnerable. Defending a construction-related lawsuit may set your company back thousands or even millions of dollars.
There are steps you can take to decrease your chances of becoming a defendant or plaintiff. In fact, working with experienced attorneys at a construction law firm may help you avoid costly litigation altogether. Here are three ways experienced law firms keep contractors out of court:
1. Drafting good contracts
Construction litigation often turns on the terms of the contract. By collaborating with an experienced attorney, you can likely remove or mitigate many issues that may lead to legal liability. Furthermore, if you have a lawyer on your side, they can review the addendums and contractual changes that inevitably arise during construction.
2. Ensuring you receive payment
While contractor errors, construction defects and timing delays often lead to litigation, many lawsuits stem from payment problems. Before suing clients for payment, you probably want to talk with a construction attorney. An experienced attorneys may have alternative strategies for ensuring you receive payment.
3. Conducting settlement negotiations
Even if one of your customers has a valid legal claim, you may never have to walk into court. Experienced construction attorneys understand how to conduct settlement negotiations and prevent prolonged litigation. Likewise, if your contract has an arbitration clause, an attorney can help you manage that process.
As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To save money, reduce stress and foster good business processes, it is hard to overstate the value of an experienced construction attorney.