How a Contractor Attorney Can Protect Your Construction Business During a Crisis

contractor attorney

Around 90% of small businesses experience a lawsuit at some point, including those in the construction industry.

Hiring a contractor attorney prevents payouts and protects your business’s reputation. But if you’ve never dealt with legal issues before, you may not know how a lawyer can benefit you.

Sounds like your situation? Luckily, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for. Here’s how a contractor attorney can protect your construction business.

What Is Construction Law?

Before we discuss how to find a lawyer, it’s important to discuss what construction law means. This refers to the regulations that affect planning and building construction projects. As a result, attorneys may deal with public and private cases, depending on who they’re working for.

Many lawyers also handle security and employment issues in the industry, such as a breach of contract. Note that as laws vary between states, it’s crucial to find a lawyer who has a deep understanding of yours.

To deepen your knowledge, contact an attorney to learn more about construction law.

Who Construction Lawyers Represent

Legal disputes can involve small to million-dollar businesses.

It’s important to note that attorneys are well-versed in particular areas, such as representing homeowners, construction employees, or businesses in the industry.

Lawyers who focus on construction businesses will often represent managers, contractors, developers, and even architects. Alongside these, attorneys may work for lenders or insurance companies, depending on the case.

When to Contact a Construction Lawyer

Certain construction legal issues require a lawyer so that you don’t fall into deeper hot water.

One of the most common ones is drafting a construction contract. When your business hires a contractor, an attorney must read through the contract to ensure that it’s reasonable and the employee has rights, such as safe job site requirements. If there are any problems, the construction attorney will revise the document until both parties are happy.

Further, construction lawyers protect contractor payments. This ensures that the employee gets the full payment, including labor, equipment, and materials. If the construction business fails to do this, the lawyer will fight the contractor’s corner until they receive the full payment.

Another reason businesses need a lawyer is to help with proposals. This is a crucial element of the construction process and must be legally sound. For instance, businesses may need help with writing one or bidding for a proposal.

Alongside the proposals, businesses need lawyers to submit a construction claim, such as compensation or extra time. Attorneys can also submit claims for unexpected incidents like design defects or disruptions in their work.

Does Everyone Need a Lawyer?

Not sure if your business needs a lawyer?

A great starting point is figuring out how large the problem is. If your business has a dispute resolution process that both parties are happy with, you may not need legal advice.

Depending on the case’s severity, many contractors and construction businesses take the small claims court route instead. During the process, the contractors pay a filing fee and represent themselves in court, which is cheaper than hiring a lawyer. But the greatest monetary value is around $25,000, so it’s wise to seek legal help if you have a larger case.

How to Find a Construction Attorney

You’ve decided that you need a construction attorney, so it’s important to conduct a thorough search before hiring one.

Start by tapping into your network and ask other contractors in the industry. The beauty of word-of-mouth is that people will give you honest feedback about the attorney’s service, so you can make an informed decision.

You can also Google “construction lawyer [insert your area]” to see the top hits. Ideally, the practice should have a minimum of four stars as it shows that they have the right experience. Read reviews and if there are recurring negative comments, continue your search, as that’s a major red flag.

Another useful method is to search attorney databases. Make sure you add “construction” to the filter as you’ll get information on the attorney’s practice, location, and professional background. This is a great option because someone has vetted each lawyer, meaning you’ll only have access to quality attorneys.

Questions to Ask Potential Lawyers

Once you’re happy with potential lawyers, prepare a list of questions.

The first should be whether the lawyer accepts free consultations so that you can tour the practice and interview with the construction attorney. Note, that many attorneys ask for a nominal fee to maximize their time, so keep this in mind when comparing lawyers.

Contractors should also ask about fees before going further. On average, lawyers charge between $100 to $400 an hour, depending on the attorney’s experience and the case. Other costs include consultation, processing, and contingency fees.

Another crucial question is asking about the lawyer’s experience. Ideally, you want an attorney who has years of experience working in construction law. You should also ask about past cases and how many the attorney has won as it shows their competence.

Don’t forget to ask whether the candidate has suffered disciplinary action. For example, the lawyer may be guilty of overcharging clients or having conflicts of interest during a case. When this happens, it’s crucial to continue your search because it’s

If you’re happy with the lawyer, ask about their current workload and how they can fit you in. Determine how involved the attorney will be or whether they will divide their caseload with others on their team. It’s important that if it’s a team effort, the lawyer will introduce you to their co-workers, so you can communicate with them throughout the process.

Hire a Reputable Contractor Attorney Today

Now you know when to hire a contractor attorney, it’s time to find one for your business.

There are many cases where hiring a lawyer is essential, whether it’s dealing with contracts or project disputes. Spend time conducting thorough background checks to find a construction lawyer you’re happy with. Good luck with your search!

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