If you’ve been accused of a construction defect that has led to property damage, then you’re probably under the threat of litigation. The prospect, if it materializes, can be enormously costly, and it might cause extensive damage to your reputation. That’s why you need to know how to properly navigate these kinds of construction disputes if you hope to protect your interests as fully as possible.
Should you take your case to trial?
That’s a hard question to answer because it really depends on the facts of your case. If after analyzing all the facts involved you think that the claim is meritless, then you might be able to escape judgment by finding resolution through court.
If, on the other hand, you think that there’s a chance that you might be held liable, or if you want to avoid the publicity involved in litigation, then you may want to consider some type of alternative dispute resolution to resolve the matter as quickly and as quietly as possible.
Keep in mind, too, that you may need to preserve your relationship with the other side, whether to finish the current project or to carry out future projects. Settling your case through arbitration or mediation is probably a better way to protect those relationships instead of fighting everything out in court.
How does construction mediation work?
In construction mediation, a neutral third-party who typically has experience in construction law issues helps facilitate conversation amongst the parties to see if they can come to an agreement on resolution. Remember, the mediator isn’t going to make any decisions. Only you and the other party can do that. However, the mediator might help point out the risks of moving forward with trial and how some resolution options may be beneficial to all parties involved.
Mediation can be a more efficient way to resolve your dispute, and it may save you money in the long run. But if this option interests you, then you need to know how to adequately prepare for mediation.
Preparing for your mediation
If you’re headed toward construction mediation, then you might want to do each of the following:
- Create an appropriately thorough pre-mediation statement: While this statement should educate the mediator about the facts of the case and the dispute in question, it should also point out the strengths of your position and the weaknesses of other side’s. This can help provide understanding and perspective while raising doubt in the other side’s mind, which may help move them closer to resolution.
- Set and understand the ground rules: Before you start mediating, you and the other side are going to have to a agree to a set of ground rules. These ground rules can address confidentiality and what information that the mediator obtains from one side, if any, can be disclosed to the other side.
- Make sure you have a full understanding of the facts: Although mediation is less formal than full-blown litigation, you still need to treat the process seriously. This means that you need to know the ins and outs of your case so that you’re not taken by surprise during settlement negotiations. Review every relevant document and speak to all witnesses before heading into mediation to protect your interests more fully.
Do you need assistance with your construction law issues?
An improperly handled construction case can leave you in a rough position. You don’t want your finances and your business relationships to suffer, which is why you may want to consider having a legal ally on your side as you navigate these complicated matters.