When you're waiting on new construction, delays can be both irritating and costly. It's only natural that you might want to hold the construction company liable. The question is, do you have a claim for a lawsuit?
What Are the Potential Damages in a Construction Delay Lawsuit?
There are several harms construction claims can cause that can give you the right to collect legal damages. If you're building a house for yourself that you're expecting to move into, you might need to pay extra to find a place to live while your new house is being finished. If you haven't sold your old house yet, there's a chance that market prices can go down during construction delays.
Business construction delays can cause lost income to the business. The sooner a new location opens, the sooner it can start making money. If you're doing renovations or had to rebuild after a disaster like a fire, construction delays can force you to stay closed longer and lose even more money than you already would have.
Are Construction Delays Normal?
Delays are normal in a construction project. Most projects need different types of contractors and materials. Coordinating schedules of who and what comes when can be difficult. If one thing happens late, it can throw off the entire schedule.
Some things, like choosing the right contractors, are controllable. Other things, like weather that forces work to stop, are not. Even if delays are both normal and controllable, there may or may not be any legal liability on the part of the construction company.
What Determines Who is Liable for Delays?
When it comes to construction projects, it all comes down to what's in the contract. Different areas usually have different practices about what kind of delays are expected and allowed. However, the contract always overrules general practices.
In some contracts, there are strict deadlines. The builder has to pay penalties if they miss the deadline by even a few hours. A good contract will usually define those penalties.
Other contracts may be less clear on what happens if there are delays and the extent of the construction company's liability. Your lawyer will have to interpret the contract based on general contract law and construction standards in your area. If you've suffered financial harm because of a delay, it's a good idea to have a lawyer review your contract.
To learn more about when a construction company is liable for delays, contact a local construction lawyer today.