Disputes between a construction company and subcontractors or between a property owner and a contractor can bring a construction project to a grinding halt. If you work in the construction industry, you probably understand this problem all too well. In the event conflict with a contracted party erupts, you may want to look to your contract for a way to resolve the issue.
While many companies go to court to resolve their disputes, court litigation is not inevitable. As Construction Executive explains, some construction companies negotiate dispute resolution methods in their contracts before their projects start. If your contract contains these provisions, you may have a road map in place for bringing the dispute to a close.
Methods of resolution
Take an example of a breach of contract. If you and your contracted parties have an issue over fulfilling a part of the contract, your dispute resolution may require all parties involved to take the dispute to mediation. This way, you may negotiate a settlement with the help of an impartial mediator and avoid going to court. Alternatively, your contract might have you go before arbitration, allowing one or more arbitrators to settle your dispute.
Some contracts do not have just one resolution method. They may spell out a chain of resolution methods in case one fails. Meditation or non-binding arbitration may serve as the initial option. If these methods should fail, the parties may proceed to binding arbitration or to court litigation. Even if your contract provides for taking the dispute to court, you might have pre-negotiated some issues like the venue that will hear your case.
The benefits of advance planning
Not all contractors have dispute resolution methods in their contracts, but it can be incredibly helpful to have them. In addition to providing a less costly way to resolve disputes than court litigation, pre-negotiated resolution methods could give you assurance that you can take care of conflicts in an expedited manner. As a result, you might worry less that a legal battle will knock your project off schedule.