As the construction industry continues to evolve, disputes are, unfortunately, a natural occurrence. In North Carolina, as elsewhere, contractual disagreements can result in costly delays, damage to business relationships, and potential legal liabilities.
However, a strategic approach can help prevent a disagreement from escalating and better ensure a favorable outcome. Below are the do’s and don’ts that every contractor should be aware of when dealing with construction contract disputes.
1. Understand Your Contract
Do: Familiarize Yourself with the Fine Print
Before diving into any dispute, take time to review and understand the contract’s terms. Knowing the specifics can provide insight into your obligations, rights, and potential remedies.
Don’t: Make Assumptions
Never base your actions on assumptions. Always refer to the actual terms and conditions of the contract.
2. Communication is Key
Do: Initiate Calm and Constructive Dialogue
In many instances, misunderstandings or misinterpretations are at the root of a dispute. Reaching out to the other party for a clarifying conversation can sometimes resolve the issue without further escalation.
Don’t: Make Emotional or Rash Decisions
Avoid sending confrontational emails, letters, or making aggressive phone calls. Such actions can further complicate the situation and may be used against you in legal proceedings.
3. Document Everything
Do: Keep a Record
Document every communication, transaction, and action related to the project. Having a detailed record can provide essential evidence if the dispute goes to court.
Don’t: Discard Relevant Information
Even if something seems unimportant, refrain from disposing of documents and other information related to a project because.it may become relevant at a later date should a dispute arise. Always maintain a comprehensive file related to the project.
4. Explore Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Do: Consider Mediation or Arbitration
North Carolina, like many states, is supportive of ADR methods. These can be faster, less confrontational, and more cost-effective than court proceedings.
Don’t: Overlook Contractual ADR Clauses
Many construction contracts have clauses that require parties to undergo mediation or arbitration before resorting to litigation. Ensure that you’re aware of such provisions and that you’re complying with such provisions.
5. Seek Legal Counsel
The construction law attorneys at Anderson Jones can provide clarity on your legal standing, advise on the best course of action, and represent your interests effectively.
Don’t: Wait Until the Last Minute
If you believe a dispute is imminent or ongoing, consult with one of our construction law attorneys sooner rather than later. Delaying can compromise your position.
Contact Our Construction Litigation Attorneys Today
If you’re facing a construction contract dispute in North Carolina, it’s essential to handle the situation strategically and legally. The team at Anderson Jones can be your best ally in navigating the complexities of the construction industry and ensuring your interests are protected. Don’t wait until matters escalate; seek expert advice today to safeguard your rights and interests.