Representing Property Owners, General Contractors and Subcontractors in Construction Defect And Accident Matters
Construction law typically covers construction defect, construction contract and construction accident/injury matters which typically involve a general contractor, multiple contractors, and a residential or commercial property owner. In these cases, attorneys may litigate multiple party cases involving personal injury, property damage, or some other monetary loss, such as diminution of property value. These cases typically require an analysis of indemnity and insurance coverage issues in conjunction with statutory and case law that is ever evolving.
What Can I Do To Protect My Business?
Construction law litigation most often involves multifaceted indemnity and insurance coverage issues which an attorney must carefully evaluate to be successful in shifting the cost of the litigation away from a business. The first step towards protecting your business is to obtain appropriate insurance coverage. The second step is drafting a contract that adequately addresses who is liable for the cost of litigation should a claim arise.
If you are a general contractor, having your subcontractors obtain insurance and name you as additional insured is a good step towards protecting your exposure in a construction law case but worthless if your subcontractor is not adequately insured. Consequently, requiring appropriate insurance and knowing how to identify when that contractual obligation has been met by your contractor is the most crucial step in protecting your business in the event a lawsuit is filed. If you are subcontractor, you must understand and comply with the contractual and insurance obligations owing to the general and owner. Having inadequate insurance can expose your business to a breach of contract action and liability that can be in the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands dollars. For a subcontractor, the most important step towards protecting yourself is understanding the risks and obligations of the project before the contract is ever signed and long before a construction law claim becomes a reality.
What If I Am Not Responsible For the Defect or Accident, Do I Still Have To Defend The General Contractor ?
Recent case law interpreting the obligations of a subcontractor to a general contractor, owing under standard form construction contracts require the subcontractor to defend and indemnity the general contractor even if the subcontractor was not negligent or otherwise responsible for the defect or injury resulting on the project. Litigating the issue of who is responsible is often what drives up the attorney’s fees in construction law cases. Consequently, construction law claims can be very costly even if your role in the project was not relevant in causing the defect or issue litigated. Parties defending or prosecuting these construction law cases are forced to retain experts, attend multiple depositions and argue factual and legal matters in discovery and dispositive motions that can result in significant attorney’s fees even if your business was not responsible for the defect.
Why Hire Ghantous Law Corporation?
With over 20 years insurance defense experience, we have served as lead counsel in several complex multi-party litigation matters coordinated for discovery purposes by special masters or general orders and have successfully defended premises owners, hotel owners, landlords, general contractors, subcontractors, property managers, and material suppliers in a variety of serious construction law and complex accident litigation matters. The firm represents clients, through trial, in both state and federal court and has extensive experience working with expert witnesses to achieve an offensive defense while utilizing cost effective strategies designed to position the case in the best possible light for our clients.
Because of the indemnity and coverage associated with these cases, we carefully evaluate the business contracts and insurance policies and will make every effort to shift the cost of the litigation away from your business. While we are prepared to try a case, we make every effort to end the litigation through negotiation, motion practice, and mediation when possible. Clients are regularly apprised of options throughout the litigation so your business can make informed decisions at every phase of the litigation process and decide how and when the case should be resolved.