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Construction projects are major undertakings that involve numerous parties: property owners, designers, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, and others. All these parties have rights and responsibilities outlined in construction contracts.
At Morgan & Morgan, our construction contract lawyers understand the complex web of agreements that go into these projects. We represent owners, architects, designers, suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors to help ensure that their needs are met and their rights are protected throughout the duration of the project and beyond. Here’s what you should know about construction contracts.
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What Are Construction Contracts?
Construction contracts are agreements drawn up between multiple parties for construction projects. Each party agrees to follow the terms set in the agreement. When one party breaches the contract, the other party can sue for damages to compensate for losses suffered.
What Does a Construction Contract Attorney Do?
Whether you’re a building owner, general contractor, construction manager, material supplier, or designer, a lawyer for building contracts can help you. Construction attorneys:
- Review proposals and offer guidance
- Prepare contract modifications to more fairly distribute risks and responsibilities
- Review and analyze contracts to identify the potential for disputes
- Draft contract documents
- Negotiate provisions in contracts
- Assess disputes and resolve them through litigation
- File lawsuits against the party who breaches a contract
What Damages Might You Be Eligible to Receive?
When the terms of a construction contract are violated, the non-breaching party may recover compensation through:
- Compensatory Damages: Compensatory damages provide financial compensation for the plaintiff that they would have received had there not been a breach in contract. These may include consequential damages, or special damages. Consequential damages go beyond the contract itself and involve subsequent losses such as lost business opportunities.
- Liquidated Damages: A liquidated-damages provision in a construction contract provides a specific and predetermined amount of funds chargeable against the contractor for each day they fail to complete the project beyond the specified completion date.
- Specific Performance Damages: Specific performance damages require the breaching party to fulfill their obligations under the terms of the contract. These may be granted in cases where monetary damages won’t adequately compensate the victim.
Are There Potential Limitations to Damages?
There are limitations that may affect your ability to recover damages from a breach of contract:
- Foreseeable Damages: The party who breached the contract is able to anticipate that the damages will likely take place. For instance, if a builder refuses to complete construction on a home, it would be foreseeable that the buyer would be forced to live elsewhere until completion. The builder might then be responsible for the buyer’s expenses living elsewhere.
- Duty to Mitigate: The party who suffers a loss has a duty to not further that loss. For instance, if a builder is constructing a house and the other party cancels the contract, the builder can’t finish the house and then recover damages for the expenses of doing so.
Contact a Construction Contract Lawyer
If you believe you may be entitled to damages due to a breach of contract, contact Morgan & Morgan. Our building contract lawyers can help you recover the damages you are owed. To get started, schedule a free case evaluation now.