Susan Barilich, P.C.
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Dealing with construction contract disputes

Your experience in the construction industry has proven to you how vital contracts are to the success of your business. As a project moves forward, the terms you and the other party agreed to verbally may become cloudy in your memories, resulting in confusing expectations. Having a written contract protects you and your client from those kinds of misunderstandings that can quickly lead to disputes.

However, just because you have a written contract with your client does not mean you will never face a dispute. In fact, there are numerous reasons why you and your client may conflict at some point during the project.

Common contract disputes

Disagreeing with your client over an element in your construction project can bring the job to a grinding halt. Not only does this delay the completion of this project, but it also may delay projects waiting down the line. It also means you will not receive payment for the work until the issue is resolved.

Despite having a contract – written, signed and witnessed – you may face disputes with the other party for any of these common reasons or others:

  • Your client misunderstood the terms of the agreement.
  • Your workers met with unforeseeable delays.
  • One or both parties failed to sign the contract.
  • Your client is making false claims to break the contract.

Without a fast and satisfactory resolution, the dispute may lead to a breach of contract. You understand how damaging this can be to the reputation of your business and your bottom line.

Resolving contract disputes

You can attempt to iron out the problems with the contract terms in numerous ways before resorting to litigation. Alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and negotiation are often quite successful ways to get both sides of the issue on the table and find a satisfactory compromise.

However, you and the other party may require more intense methods like arbitration or adjudication, which involve a neutral third party whose decision on the matter is legally binding. It is always wise to obtain the counsel of a California attorney who is willing to guide you through alternative dispute resolution but prepared for aggressive litigation if necessary.

Preventative measures

Once you have gone through a contract dispute, you may wish to review your existing contract with an attorney to see if there are ways you can clarify the language. This may help to avoid future conflicts or at least provide a clear method of dispute resolution.

Additionally, with scrupulous project planning, meticulous pre-construction work and thorough review of the contract terms with your clients, you can reduce the chances of misunderstandings and disputes.

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Susan Barilich, P.C. | 535 N. Brand Blvd., Ste. 504 | Glendale, CA 91203 | Phone: 818-500-0377 | Map & Directions