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The Ten Commandments to avoid construction litigation, Part 2

Most disputes arise because there is a misunderstanding between the parties. For instance, one party might have expected property values to increase when they agreed to construction. Unfortunately, they cratered now the other party wants out of the agreement because their assumption did not come true ? not because they are inherently bad. A previous post discussed effective contract writing as key to avoiding disputes. This post will address how to anticipate and prevent problems.

Always get insurance. You should never, ever undertake a construction project without insurance. Insurance is the grease that enables your business to operate smoothly. It may sound like you're wasting money on a financial middleman, but it is far better to have insurance and not need it, then need insurance and not have it. Insurance is especially important if the project is off schedule, the building is suffering from structural integrity problems or other similar issues.

Additionally, if you see a potential problem, address it sooner. Do not put off disputes. Procrastinating may work in your relationship, but it does not work in business. When you put off problems, they inevitably balloon into much bigger problems. As the problem grows, so does the cost of resolving it or even litigating it.

If you are engaged in contentious negotiations over a construction dispute, you may want to speak to an attorney. You may not necessarily engage in litigation, but it is critical that you are prepared for any eventuality. A lawyer can help you prepare for possible outcomes, including litigation. Additionally, as illustrated above, an attorney can help your company avoid these disputes in the future. Comprehensive negotiations and well-written contracts are a great inoculation against future disputes that breakdown cooperation.

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