Contractors Combat Construction Litigation with TRUE
Unfortunately, the construction business is particularly prone to litigation due to the nature of the industry, with its mountains of complicated paperwork and projects that can be affected by a multitude of uncontrollable factors from inclement weather to unreliable suppliers. However, this does not mean that you should approach all of your projects as a potential lawsuit. No one wants to be involved in a lawsuit. Legal actions are costly, time consuming, and often prevent the involved parties from doing business again. Even when a party “wins”, the fact that there was litigation at all may still had negative implications. Common construction litigation can range from a dispute about the construction process and delays to the condition of the final product.
Delays & Time Disputes
In construction, finishing a project on time is just as important as keeping the project within budget. Proper project scheduling and planning keeps a construction project running efficiently. A time delay occurs when a project goes beyond the contract’s completion date because of one or more disputes.However, if a time delay stops a project temporarily or permanently the extended project date may cost stakeholders additional expenses. Any time delay has ramifications, especially in terms of cost. Incurred cost can include office overhead, idle employees and construction litigation.
According to Engineers Daily, design deficiency accounts for about 38 percent of construction disputes. A design deficiency is a poorly designed, inaccurate or incomplete plan. The deficiency may cause conflicts between sub and general contractors, and contractors and owners, as well as additional costs or delays in completing the project. Imagine the construction project is finished and there is a brand new building designed according to plans and the project was completed on time and on budget. However, the owner or general contractor is not happy with the newly finished construction because of some perceived or real design flaw. This unfavorable reaction may start as a simple dispute but can quickly escalate to a construction lawsuit. For example, maybe the constructed building doesn’t support the required heat or electricity needed. However, the designer met the design requirements. Whether the owner is right or wrong, he may have a dispute with the contractor or designer. This dispute may be decided by a judge unless the lawsuit can be fixed.
While lawsuits can undoubtedly hurt your business, there are ways for contractors to prevent construction litigation and protect your company if you find yourself involved in a construction lawsuit. TRUE is one of the best options due to the many features and modules designed specifically for the construction industry to ensure end-to-end project management, compliance, and appropriate documentation.
A well drafted contract, that anticipates the likelihood of construction delays, with explicit remedies and timetables for penalties, can make all the difference. In TRUE, you can create custom eForms for your company that can be used by your team as a contract template. This template can then be selected and edited for specific clients and projects to ensures that all the necessary terms and conditions are included and that you are covered in the event of construction litigation.
The features within TRUE used for project scheduling can also prevent construction litigation regarding delays with the gantt charting, personnel records, and task tracking. The scheduling module in TRUE allows you to build out a realistic schedule and time table for the project with the Gantt Chart feature and allows you to monitor and update the schedule based on dependent tasks and recorded delays. TRUE Scheduling provides accountability for delays with the documentation necessary to back it up. The scheduling features make it easy to detect the amount of resources, man-hours and equipment used during the project as well. In TRUE, when assigning employees to a schedule, the system automatically references the personnel record of the employee to ensure that they have the training and/or certifications required to perform that task or work on that site.
The foundation for a strong argument in court is proper documentation. When you use it properly, and review it regularly, you stand the best chance of ensuring you have the right documents at the right time, whether it’s for litigation and arbitration or everyday business processes. With TRUE, you are able to document any issues that arise like delays, changes, or design deficiencies during a construction project can show lack of negligence or wrongdoing by the subcontractor. It’s important to gather all documentation from the project before you can move forward. In many cases, construction disputes arise months to years after the project is finished. As time passes, memories fade and personnel changes. Being able to show written and photo documentation helps quickly resolve construction lawsuits because of indisputable evidence.
Many contractors use TRUE to quickly end construction lawsuits. TRUE is an all-in-one construction business management solution construction with real-time project and job site data. It also has the ability to provide insight into the project lifecycle on one system. For more information about TRUE, check out our solutions website at www.docuwrx.com/true-enterprise.