Home, office and retail construction in Southern California continues apace. We have acquired an in-depth appreciation of the issues which typically arise in construction-related disputes and the facts and law material to their resolution from our years of experience representing residential and commercial owners, developers and contractors. We have litigated claims in both courts and arbitrations involving compensation for “extra work,” defective construction, defective building products, statutory and contractual warranty claims, delay damages, mechanic’s liens, insurance issues and indemnification. In doing so, we have established relationships with individuals and firms who assist its attorneys, where necessary, as expert witnesses.
As compared with other areas, alternative dispute resolution or arbitration may be appropriate in construction-related matters, even in those instances where a standard AIA contract–which specifically provides for arbitration–is not involved. Because such disputes typically involve alleged deficiencies with more than one trade’s work, and because the work of one trade often impacts the quality and timing of another trade’s work, an arbitrator with specialized knowledge can help to reduce the time spent in trial and the cost associated with expert witnesses. We will recommend that the appropriate alternative dispute mechanism be employed where appropriate and in its client’s best interests.
Construction is the United States’ largest industry, and unfortunately, construction site accidents kill and injure thousands of workers each year. Despite legal and trade provisions in place to prevent construction accidents, one out of every ten construction workers suffer some kind of on the job injury, including:
- Scaffolding, Crane, Derrick, Conveyor, Ladder, Winch, Grater, Scraper, Backhoe, and Boiler Accidents
- Electric Shock
- Trench Collapse
- Fire and Explosion
- Highway Vehicle Accidents
- Compressed Gases Accidents
- Welding Accidents
Although most injured workers will be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits, these benefits will not cover all of the expenses faced by an injured worker and generally do not cover pain and suffering and the full range of damages available to the loved ones of a worker who is killed in an accident.
When a construction site accident occurs, responsibility for the personal injury can be attributed to a variety of individuals or businesses, including the owners, contractors and subcontractors, engineers, electricians, scaffolding companies, architects, insurance companies and manufacturers of equipment. For example, the general contractor and subcontractors must provide a reasonably safe work environment and manufacturers of construction equipment are responsible for designing and maintaining safe products. In complex cases, in addition to negligence and workers’ compensation, the legal principles of agency and corporate law may be necessary in determining liability.
Knowledge of federal and state regulations governing construction sites is imperative when developing theories against all of the third parties who may be responsible for a construction site accident. Any attorney you choose should be experienced in the inspection of worksites, preservation of evidence and identification and questioning of critical witnesses.