2023 Guide to Frequently Encountered Construction Law Issues

January 09, 2023
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The construction industry can be fraught with legal problems from which disputes can arise. A frequent cause is that projects undertaken will usually involve a significant outlay of resources. As such, preparation is critical for construction companies. Prevailing Illinois construction law governs the way in which such business can be conducted, and one important statute that factors into a commonly occurring issue is called “prima facie.” This refers to a case where it appears at first glance to be related to one law but then, upon further inspection, will be ruled upon due to another prevailing factor. This can cause one party to lose a case they thought would be decided clearly in their favor. 

Construction Law Issues

Negligence is a frequent cause for legal action, and this can occur because a contractor didn’t fulfill promises by a certain time or in a particular manner. This can be either through activities that are willful or unintended. Sometimes, this can be due to a failure to order materials in a timely manner or because sufficient resources weren’t obtained. 

Natural disasters can be another cause. Careful attention to the contract and ensuring proper oversight of employees concerning conscientiousness and scheduling helps circumvent negligence cases.

Oftentimes, a court case can be avoided when a contractor opts instead to negotiate and settle the issue privately. There may then be an agreement on behalf of both parties not to pursue matters further.

Contract Disputes

Errors and omissions in a contract frequently cause construction issues on the job. This can happen through a breakdown of communication between all parties due to a lack of clarity in the contract. This can result in subpar completion of projects that aren’t done according to desired specifications, resulting in a loss of reputation. Herefore, careful attention to the language in the contract as well as asking for vital clarification of confusing or conflicting expectations.

Differing Site Conditions

Differing work conditions is a category of dispute when a site isn’t what it should be for properly completing the work. For example, workers need to have access to safe working conditions, and a poor construction site can lead to mishaps and other injuries. Not only will these slow laborers down in the interim, but it can also work in tandem with other defective oversights, such as faulty hookups for utilities, problems with utilizing cranes, and workers’ compensation claims for medical costs and lost wages.

Disputes Over Timelines

Deadlines are essential for any construction project. It costs an owner or developer each day a crew is contracted to serve their project. The contractor, subcontractors, and workers also have a schedule they must keep to. If work is interrupted due to poor performance or absentee laborers, or even due to poor weather or mistakes made in planning, this creates added costs for everyone. 

When an owner’s project runs over its budget, it can cause them to falter on other already agreed-upon obligations. They may wish to bring their dispute before a judge, or all parties could end up settling out of court.

Other construction issues can be due to communication lapses that can arise when contractors subcontract out their work to others. Misunderstandings of this sort can cause property damage and set the delivery date back in a series of delays. 

Clear delivery of objectives is necessary to ensure all understand what is required of them. Miscommunications and disagreements can also happen regarding a wide array of common goals and the allocation of resources.

Construction Defects

Construction defects are another source of dispute and can occur when the safety of a structure is in question, which can endanger its occupants or mean it’s not fit for use in its intended way. 

Common causes are electrical systems, foundational integrity, and plumbing code violations. These can occur due to unforeseen environmental features, such as soft bedrock, creating difficulty with the foundation. Wiring issues can happen through faulty planning, and plumbing mishaps can transpire for the same reason. 

Thorough planning is essential to examine all specifications of the natural environment and the desired outcome.

Avoiding Construction Law Issues

A way to avoid losing in this manner is to consult with an attorney to determine what the overriding legal principle is likely to be in your situation. Legal advice can help those in construction to navigate being the target of litigation and can also assist with protecting their investments.

Grzymala Law Offices, P.C. is knowledgeable in Illinois construction law and can provide the guidance your company needs. We specialize in cases related to the construction field and can be of invaluable support when you’re facing a legal issue. 

Our Chicago construction attorney will be able to craft a legal strategy to deal with issues that arise in complex dealings involving vendors, owners, developers, and others, and that may include lawsuits, terminating mechanics’ liens, or disputes regarding contracts. Contact us to make an appointment to discuss your situation with our Chicago construction lawyer today.