During large or small construction projects in Alabama, disputes can sometimes arise between various parties involved, including the property owner, contractors and subcontractors. These disputes have the potential to reduce the profitability of the project or damage long-term working relationships. That’s why many contractors want to do what they can to seek a fair settlement of issues that arise in the construction project. In many cases, these disputes emerge when there is no clear understanding of a contract, an ongoing delay or a failure to follow the contract’s terms.
When a construction dispute arises, there typically has not yet been a breach of contract. However, these matters can escalate to litigation or the termination of the contract involved if a resolution is not reached. There are several ways that companies involved can make it less likely for disputes to arise in the first place. Doing more planning in advance, insisting on a reasonable and realistic schedule, carefully reading and fully understanding the contract and producing complete estimates can help to prevent problems down the line. In addition, parties may not want to shy away from negotiating contract terms. If something stands out as problematic at the start, it could lead to costly problems later on.
If a dispute does arise, there are various mechanisms that contractors can use to resolve the issue. In many cases, a dispute resolution clause will be included in the contract itself to determine how issues will be handled. They may specify negotiation between the parties, mediation with a neutral third party, expert determinations over issues of fact or a formal, legally binding arbitration.
While construction litigation may be necessary at times, it can also be costly and unwanted. A construction law attorney may help contractors negotiate well-designed agreements. This could help prevent disputes.