Avoiding Construction Claims

Construction projects are renowned for generating conflicts, disputes and claims. Conflict seems to be an inevitable part of construction.

But conflicts and disputes on construction projects—and the claims they generate—can be minimized by effective planning and proactive management. History teaches that, while the parties and projects may change, the areas of conflict and types of disputes do not. Knowing the areas where conflicts are likely to arise, and carefully planning to address them, can reduce claims and increase the prospects for a successful project.

Some of the areas that generate claims on construction projects are as follows.

One-Sided Contracts

Owner-drafted contracts frequently seek to protect the owner from all possible claims. Such contracts contain exculpatory language, waivers and limitations intended to bar virtually all claims by the contractor. The idea is to protect the owner from all foreseeable and unforeseeable risks by shifting responsibility for those risks to someone else.

One-sided contracts, however, may generate as many claims as they prevent.

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