Why a Construction Manager Might Want to Hire a Lawyer


In a highly developed nation like the United States, there is no shortage of construction work that needs to be done, mainly in cities and towns, and the construction industry is enormous to match this need. In cities and towns across the United States, suburban homes, schools, banks, skyscrapers, and more need to be built, and a project owner will hire construction crews of all kinds to build it. But there is more to construction to hammers and saws; there is paperwork involved for all sorts of arenas, from invoices agreements to the project schedule to safety regulations and construction codes. Often, construction law will be above the heads of the workers, so a construction law firm can be consulted and a construction attorney may be hired to help. “when do I need a construction attorney?” is the question to ask if a problem comes up, and there are a number of issues that may crop up during a project. “when do I need a construction attorney?” may be what newly-appointed crew managers want to know, and “when do I need a construction attorney?” may be answered sooner than later on a project if the workers are careless. What might go wrong on a project so that lawyers need to be called in? How large have past cases been?

Construction and Law

“when do I need a construction attorney?” may be an important question to ask for a construction manager during a project that is plagued with problems. There are many laws and regulations surrounding construction, since it is important that buildings are made a certain way and workers face constant threats to life and limb while on a project, so “when do I need a construction attorney?” may soon become relevant during work. Litigation with the aid of a construction lawyer may happen all the time across the nation, and this may be for late invoices, damage to property, or especially personal injury to the workers during a project, and large cases have been arbitrated before.

In fact, there are statistics to show just how big cases handled by the American Arbitration Association, the AAA, can be where construction law is concerned. Back in 2015, for a fairly recent example, the AAA administered some 551 construction law cases that were worth $500,000 or more, and the largest arbitrated case that year was worth an impressive $2.6 billion, and the total of all claims and counter-claims made that year added up to $5.5 billion. These large figures may not come as a surprise when one considers the scale of the construction industry and how large some projects may be. As of 2016, the American construction market was worth a staggering $1.162 trillion, and this includes such things as worker salaries, buying the necessary equipment and materials, construction law firms, and the builders and repair crews of construction vehicles like dump trucks and bulldozers. But why else might a construction lawyer be held on retainer or consulted at a nearby law firm?

The Problems at a Construction Site

A number of factors may go wrong. Construction workers often face hazards on the work site, such as breathing in airborne silica that may damage the eyes or lungs, or they may inhale harmful fumes or chemicals by accident, such as paint thinner fumes or spray foam chemicals in the air. Or, workers may slip and fall, and they may even break bones falling from a great height onto hard ground or a floor. Workers could get their arms or legs trapped in machines or crushed under heavy items, or they may get injured by malfunctioning equipment or even get run over by vehicles.

Paperwork might be an issue, too. Other crews may be late with their invoices or fail to pay them at all, or other crews may violate workplace safety codes or even attempt to wrongfully terminate a project. A construction lawyer can represent his or her client in litigation against any of these problems against an at-fault party, or conversely, the lawyer might launch termination paperwork of a project that is grossly behind on schedule or over budget, or if too many workplace accidents are taking place.

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