Know the ultimate goal of plaintiffs in construction litigation

Construction law is multifaceted and often very complex. Whether your case involves contract negotiations with federal agencies that must follow very strict guidelines or deals with materialmen's liens or even a wrongful death claim, you want your client to emerge victorious.

Realistically speaking, however, you know that will not always be possible in all cases. Still, your goal is to leave your client in the best shape possible, or at the very least, not to take too big of a hit.

Most cases involving materialmen's liens rely on scrupulous documentation of the contracted work and what was actually completed, and when. Misinterpretations of the job specs can wind up throwing a monkey wrench into an otherwise thriving construction project. It's just viewed as bad business to renege on paying suppliers and sub-contractors, and it definitely can affect the project's bottom line.

Your clients depend upon you to defend their reputations as seasoned contractors and master craftsmen when facing legal challenges involving construction defects or warranty breaches. In today's litigious environment, it's inevitable that business owners at some point will face litigation from disgruntled plaintiffs.

That's why it is so important to take the right approach immediately. Sometimes it is easy to figure out what the plaintiff is seeking, i.e., a hefty settlement. In other instances, such as wrongful death lawsuits, survivors may be less interested in monetary settlements and more focused on the allegedly at-fault individuals accepting responsibility for their errors or negligence.

Once you have a beat on a plaintiff's true goals, you can advise your client on how best to proceed to satisfactorily resolve their legal dilemma.

Source: FindLaw, "Construction Law Overview," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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