Construction projects in Louisiana are exciting, but they can also be complex. This is due in part to the fact that the project owner, builder and other parties will enter into various types of contracts with one another that will govern how the project will be completed and paid for. In general, there are four types of construction contracts that may play a part in any given contract.
Construction projects can be complex undertakings involving many parties. Of course, there is the property owner, but in addition there are usually general contractors and third-party subcontractors involved in these projects. It is important to understand the roles general contractors and subcontractors play in the execution of a construction project in Louisiana, as their classification may have significant legal ramifications.
Rarely is every job on the worksite done by the general contractor. Many elements of these projects like plumbing and electrical are, in fact, handled by subcontractors. With so many different groups working on one site, it is a simple reality that there may be conflicts during and after the construction process. One of those, and arguably the most common, is a scope of work dispute.
Any military or government contractor is likely well aware of the risks involved when taking on such enormous contracts. Most, understandably so, are backed by a highly skilled legal team ready and waiting to defend any type of fraud or false claim case that may arise.
The construction and real estate businesses are inherently risky. Developers, builders and the many other parties involved in a medium- or large-sized construction project must spend large amounts of money on materials, labor and other costs, and they often must do all this on credit. Any legal dispute can mean serious financial problems.
When any construction work is performed for a governmental agency, there are strict requirements that must be met. A detailed list of steps with links can be found here.
Any entrepreneur would benefit from consulting with an attorney in their area of expertise, whether the business is a new start-up or an established corporation. However, construction contractors in particular should consider keeping a construction attorney on retainer for several reasons. Most importantly, he or she can work with you to devise an effective legal strategy both as a protective measure against future claims, as well as in preparation to arbitrate, mediate, or even litigate if necessary.
The Contractors Licensing Law and Rules and Regulations sets out specific monetary job limits for which a contractor may be required to obtain a license and general liability and workers compensation insurance. The state of Louisiana recognizes several different types of construction contractors and provides strict guidelines for each.
Construction law can be an unquestionably complex area of the law but an area of the law that is also important to understand when caught up in a construction dispute or situation involving construction defects. A variety of parties may be involved in a construction dispute and it is important that they all have a working understanding and knowledge of construction law when facing a construction dispute.
Lawsuits related to building projects can arise in a number of different contexts. Sometimes issues arise while a project is underway, such as disputes over contract obligations or design specifications. Other challenges, such as construction defect complaints, may arise only after a project has been completed. Increasingly, with the proliferation of environmental, safety and zoning regulation over the past few decades, construction litigation may commence during the planning stages of a project.