Construction disputes are not uncommon across California, whether parties clash over construction defects, enforcing the terms of a contract or liability issues. Often, there are several parties involved in a single project, which means there are plenty of opportunities for arguments, oversights and errors, which can and do lead to legal disputes.

Unfortunately, as a recent report from Arcadis shows, these disputes are not getting any easier to resolve.

More time, less at stake

The report notes that in North America, the average time it takes to resolve a construction dispute stretched out to 17.7 months in 2017. This is two months longer than the average time it took in 2016. And it is nearly three months longer than the global average.

Not only are the disputes taking longer to resolve in North America, but the value of the disputes is decreasing. In 2016, the average value of a construction dispute was $21 million; in 2017, it dropped to an average of $19 million. Globally, the 2017 average value of construction disputes were up to $43.4 million.

Reasons behind the disputes

The report goes on to say that contract disputes are the most common triggers of legal disputes. Globally, failure to administer a contract properly was the most common cause of disputes. In North America, omissions or errors in the contract were the leading cause of construction disputes.

What we can learn from these numbers

What we can take away from this report is a powerful reminder that properly creating and reviewing a contract is vital, particularly when it comes to complex or large projects.

Readers can also be reminded of the fact that resolving contract disputes can be a lengthy, complicated process. And with so much at stake, having qualified legal counsel throughout the process, from creating a contract to finalizing a project, will be critical in preventing and resolving costly disputes.