The Process of Resolving Construction Disputes
Disparities between parties of a contract will lead to construction disputes. There are a few reasons disputes may arise, such as an unclear understanding of the contract, delays or unsubstantiated claims made by those involved.
The dispute itself may not constitute a breach of contract. However, it may become one or result in the contract’s termination. Also a legal claim may be made against the surety bonds of the contractor.
Ways to Resolve Construction Disputes
When drafting a construction contract, there are several clauses that may be listed in the section detailing dispute resolution.
- Negotiation: Basically, a negotiation clause stipulates that, if a dispute arises between the owner of the project and the contractor, the parties will endeavor to resolve the issue between themselves first.
- Mediation: A mediation clause implies that an impartial third party be included if a dispute arises. The neutral party can help resolve any disagreements, but this option isn’t legally binding. However it may be an efficient way out of an adverse situation.
- Adjudication: This method also involves an impartial third party. The difference is an adjudicator will provide a decision. A mediator will only help the parties resolve the dispute. An adjudication clause may also stipulate the possibility of having the decision enforced by a court.
- Arbitration: Arbitration is another option where parties will engage an impartial third party. Those involved in the dispute mutually agree on who the arbitrator will be. The chosen arbitrator will review the documents and facts regarding the dispute. They can then decide in one parties’ favor if the parties are unable to reach a consensus. Depending on the location of the jurisdiction, arbitrations may be legally binding.
- Litigation: If the parties of the dispute can’t find any other way to resolve their issue, litigation may also be listed in the dispute clause. This involves heading to court for trial. Any decision is legally binding, but may be appealed.
Specialties of an Experienced Construction Dispute Lawyer
A knowledgeable construction dispute lawyer in Vero Beach will be able to handle a broad spectrum of disagreements including:
- Bond claims
- The prosecution of claims
- Concerns with payment and collections
- Defectives work claims
- Construction defects
- Contract disputes
- Misinterpretations of or discrepancies in construction documents (i.e. scope of work, plans, specs, etc.)
- Cost accounting
- The dissolution of joint ventures, partnerships or corporations
A Double Board-Certified Construction Dispute Lawyer Can Help
When driving around Florida, it seems there is always a construction project going on. As a result, construction disputes are virtually inevitable. The complex nature of small or large construction projects requires legal advice to avoid or settle any issues that occur during all phases of the process.
At Vocelle & Berg, LLP in Vero Beach, we handle all facets of construction disputes ranging from arbitration, mediation and negotiation to litigation. Construction disputes cause substantial increases in costs that may put business relationships and profits in jeopardy. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for help.