Construction When to Fight the Battle

Law firm

There are some statistics worth noting right off the bat about construction companies and litigation versus insurance companies. The number are eye popping because they are in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. And the lawyers that handle this business likely get paid a great commission. The statistics are:

  • In 2015, the American Arbitration Association administered 551 construction industry cases with claims of $500,000 or more. The largest construction case was for $2.6 billion, while the largest arbitration case was $96 million.
  • Alternative dispute resolution is the preferred conflict-management process in the construction industry. The median time frame from filing to award for 2015 construction arbitration cases was just 232 days.
  • According to the American Arbitration Association, the largest case resolved by one arbitrator was a claim of $232 million. The smallest case was a claim for just $23,000.

These statistics are significant. But why are they significant? And why are construction companies fighting legal battles with insurance companies? The answer is (partly) (hypothetically) as follows.

When a construction company decides to build on a new site, one of the earliest things they need is Builders Risk Insurance. Builders Risk Insurance is a general insurance that covers damage to the property site in case of an accident or some other event that is not in the company’s control. This can mean weather damage, this can mean vandalism, and others.

There are some statistics worth noting about this process. They are:

  • Between April 2006 and January 2011, the construction industry eliminated more than 40% of its work force.
  • Builders risk coverage is written for a minimum one-year term to cover a new building or structure under construction or an existing structure undergoing additions, alterations, or repairs.
  • ISO?s Builders Risk Coverage Form, CP 00 20, is the basic avenue to builders risk coverage in the simplified language commercial property program.

Builders Risk Coverage is for commercial property management and a term that applies to office buildings, bank buildings, business buildings, and even residential buildings (though there may be a different Builders Risk Coverage for those scenarios). The goal for a construction company with BRO is to have it protect against unforeseen damages.

There is always the possibility that a construction company will build a building where there is a lot of weather damage. This can occur through high winds, hail, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and many other weather events. These events can damage a property significantly and can harm the progress of the build.

Sometimes, when an event happens, a construction company will file an insurance claim to the insurance company to recoup money for the damages. And sometimes the insurance company won’t pay up, citing loop holes in the contract and insurance policy. In these cases, a construction company might take the insurance company to court.

It is in these cases that someone would need a construction attorney. A construction attorney is someone who represents construction companies in litigation and is skilled (if they are skilled) with different kinds of construction law. These laws can also take into account zoning issues with the city.

A construction attorney may be male or female. A construction attorney may be experienced or inexperienced. There are many reasons for this. While the legal field is predominantly male, more women are entering into it. And a young lawyer just starting out will be less experienced than a lawyer that has been around for some time.

There are some terms to know in this article. They are when do I need a lawyer, what is commercial real estate law, when do I need a construction attorney, when to hire a business litigation attorney, when to hire a commercial real estate attorney, why does my business need an attorney, litigation attorney, making an appeal in court, and more.

A construction attorney should be good if they are going to represent the major construction companies across the United States. They must be strong in the court room as well as the boardroom. They must work well in arbitration, making cases that are important. A good lawyer is what matters in these cases. One who can argue well.

A construction attorney that is experienced can handle cases well in the courtroom. It is even more important that a construction attorney handles cases well in front of arbitrators, which are outside entities.

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