BBG News

When You Should Look for a Construction Lawyer

May 29, 2024

Construction law is multifaceted, yet complex. From contract negotiations and execution to dispute resolution and litigation, contractors and building owners alike can face multiple issues. Learn when to seek legal counsel.

1. While Reviewing and Negotiating Construction Contracts

One of the primary roles of construction lawyers is to help with contract-related matters. This includes drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts before the project begins. A well-drafted contract can prevent a multitude of legal issues down the line by clearly defining the scope of work, payment schedules, dispute handling, and termination clauses, among other critical elements.

Consulting a construction lawyer at the outset of a project ensures that the contract is fair, legally sound, and protective of your interests.

2. When Encountering Licensing and Permitting Issues

Construction projects often require various permits and licenses, which may involve complex regulatory requirements. A construction lawyer can navigate these regulations, helping to secure all necessary permits and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws. This process can be especially complicated if the project involves environmental regulations or is located in an area with strict zoning laws.

3. When Construction Disputes Arise

Contract disputes are a common issue in the construction industry and can arise for various reasons, such as the following:

  • When a Contract Has Been Breached
  • Disagreements Over the Interpretation of Contract Terms
  • Issues With Subcontractor Agreements

Construction claims, such as those for extensions of time due to unforeseen circumstances, additional payment for extra work, or damages for defective materials, can significantly impact a project.

A construction lawyer can assist in preparing and defending these disputes, ensuring that the legal rights and interests of their client are effectively represented. Their expertise is invaluable in navigating the nuances of construction law to advocate for fair treatment and compensation.

4. During Project Delays

Construction projects are often subject to delays that are beyond the control of the contractor. This can include factors such as weather conditions, permit delays, or unexpected site conditions. Often, these delays lead to disputes over who is responsible, involving issues such as subcontractor performance, design changes, or unforeseen circumstances.

Additionally, they can bring negative financial implications for all parties involved, including increased costs, loss of revenue, or liquidated damages. A construction lawyer can help determine if there is legal recourse available for these delays, assess their financial impact, and assist in resolving any disputes that may arise.

5. When Workplace Accidents and Safety Violations Occur

The construction industry is full of risks, and accidents can have serious implications for project owners and contractors, including liability for injuries and compliance issues with occupational safety and health regulations. A construction lawyer can help investigate incidents, defend against claims, and negotiate settlements, as well as assist in developing safety protocols to prevent future incidents.

Are you seeking expert guidance in the field of construction law? Look no further than BBG, the top real estate law firm in New York City specializing in construction law.

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6. When Dealing With Mechanic’s Lens or Bond Claims

When dealing with construction projects, understanding liens and claims is crucial for both contractors and property owners. A construction lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the following subjects:

  • Mechanic’s Liens and Other Types of Construction Liens: Mechanic’s liens are a legal claim against a property for unpaid construction work or supplies. It is essential to understand the requirements for filing and enforcing mechanic’s liens to protect your interests in a construction project.
  • Defending Against Unjustified Liens and Bond Claims: Construction projects can be susceptible to unjustified liens and bond claims filed by parties seeking payment for disputed or incomplete work. Defending against such claims requires a thorough understanding of the legal requirements and potential consequences.

A construction lawyer can help you assess the validity of liens and bond claims, develop a defense strategy, and represent your interests in negotiations or legal proceedings. By seeking legal guidance, you can protect your rights and financial interests in the face of unjustified claims.

7. If There Are Permit and Zoning Issues

One of the key roles of a construction lawyer is to help you understand and comply with the various legal requirements for obtaining permits. From building permits to environmental permits, a lawyer can help streamline the process and ensure that all necessary permits are in place.

This is especially necessary because zoning laws can often be complex and confusing. Similarly, building code violations can quickly derail a construction project if not addressed promptly. If you are faced with a zoning decision or code violation that hinders your construction project, a construction lawyer can help you navigate the appeals process and present your case effectively.

8. When Professional Liability and Negligence Comes Into Question

In cases where the professional services of architects, engineers, or contractors are alleged to have fallen below the established standards, resulting in financial loss or project failure, seeking legal representation is crucial. A construction lawyer can assist in defending against claims of professional liability and negligence, protecting reputations and financial interests.

9. If Compliance Is a Concern

Even for the most experienced construction contractors, regulatory compliance is a critical aspect that can often be overlooked. Ensuring compliance with various regulations and agencies is essential to avoid legal issues and costly consequences.

Here are some key reasons why you may need to look for a construction lawyer to help with regulatory compliance:

  • Ensuring Compliance With OSHA and Other Regulatory Agencies: Construction sites are inherently dangerous, and ensuring compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations is crucial to protecting workers’ well-being and avoiding hefty fines.
  • Handling EPA Compliance Issues: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strict regulations in place to protect the environment during construction projects.
  • Avoiding the Legal Consequences of Non-Compliance: Non-compliance with regulations can lead to legal consequences such as fines, project delays, or even litigation.

10. When Facing Environmental Concerns

Construction projects can have a significant impact on the environment, and it is crucial for contractors to comply with environmental regulations. A construction lawyer can help navigate the complex legal requirements for environmental remediation on construction sites, ensuring that necessary measures are taken to protect the environment while reducing the likelihood of legal challenges or liabilities.

The Bottom Line

Construction projects, whether small renovations or massive infrastructure works, involve considerable financial investments and legal complexities. Given the high stakes, recognizing when to enlist the expertise of a construction lawyer is crucial in protecting these investments and ensuring projects run smoothly.

Belkin Burden Goldman, LLC, stands ready to assist with all aspects of construction law, from initial contracts to project completion and beyond. By engaging with our team, clients can focus on realizing their project objectives, secure in the knowledge that their legal affairs are managed with the utmost skill and attention. As your next construction lawyer, BBG is not just a choice but a strategic partner dedicated to turning your construction ambitions into achievements.

Navigate the Complexities of Construction Law with Belkin Burden Goldman, LLC

Unlock the full potential of your construction projects with BBG’s expert legal guidance. From construction law to NYC tenant-landlord affairs and due diligence, we stand as a beacon of excellence in New York City’s construction law landscape. Contact us today to ensure your project’s success from ground-breaking to completion.

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