In the construction industry, time is almost always a critical element. Construction contracts commonly have deadlines for completion of the agreed-to project, and can contain penalties of thousands of dollars for each day the completion of a project exceeds the contractual deadline. Therefore, construction litigation often surrounds determining the causes of construction delays and the damages associated with them. Both of these issues can become exceedingly complex.
Construction delays can be caused by weather, materials not arriving on time, customers failing to provide timely answers to contractors’ questions, contractors not devoting sufficient time and attention to a project, contractors failing to adequately plan the project schedule, subcontractors providing faulty labor or materials, and any number of other things. In most cases, there are several causes for construction delays, with each party to the construction contract blaming the other side for the delays. Under these circumstances, figuring out who caused the delays, what caused the delays, and what portion of the delays each party is responsible for can be very difficult, especially for people who do not deal with construction related issues every day.
Determining the damages caused by construction delays is usually just as complicated. For example, contractors often claim that being delayed on a project cost them money by making them less productive on that project and unable to work on other projects. In order to prove this, contractors must generally show, among other things, what their level of productivity would have been on the project but for the delays. This usually involves highly complex and detailed analysis of the project schedule and of the contractor’s productivity when delays were not present. On the other hand, a customer whose projects are delayed can usually claim, for example, that the loss of use of the property during the delay period cost them money. To prove this, the customer must show an actual monetary value for the use of the property and prove that they would have been able to get this monetary value but for the delay.
This brief discussion barely scratches the surface of how complex and complicated construction delay claims can become. It only makes sense for you to hire a board-certified construction attorney who understands these complex issues. Additionally, you should have a board-certified civil trial attorney on your side to help the judge or the jury understand your case.
At The Robertson Firm, our managing attorney, Peter A. Robertson, is board certified in both construction law and civil trial law. When it comes to handling your construction delay claim, at The Robertson Firm, experience is the difference.