When you join a construction and engineering project, you will more than likely sign a contract outlining your duties and responsibilities within the project. Whether you’re a building contractor or a client requesting a property be made, you have rights and a duty of care when it comes to the construction project. Anyone involved in the project found to be breaching the contract is liable to be sued.
In the construction industry, there are different ways in which someone involved can be negligent. From health and safety breaches to drafting and negotiation disputes, anything that can lead to a loss of finances that wasn’t contractually agreed is up for scrutiny. However, it can be hard to determine whether you have a viable claim when you believe someone has breached their construction contract.
Here at Van Eaton, we provide dispute resolution for construction law in London and the surrounding areas. We can advise clients on the appropriate course of action for their claim and will endeavour to provide you with the outcome you want as efficiently as possible. Processing a claim can be a difficult process, which is why our specialist team is on hand to assist you every step of the way.
For liability in negligence to be established, four elements must exist:
- duty of care
- breach of that duty of care
- damage (which is caused by the breach)
- foreseeability of that damage
By definition, a tort is a civil wrong that can lead to legal liability for the defendant. It causes a claimant to experience loss or harm. In contentious construction, a tort could involve the negligent construction of the building, the abrupt termination of a contract or anything else that is considered a breach of contract.
To be successful in a claim of damages in tort, the claimant must prove that the defendant’s actions caused them significant damage or loss and that they have suffered because of it. To defend such a claim, most individuals would claim that they did not owe the claimant a duty of care, that there was no breach and if there was, it was not causative to the claimant’s loss.
Our construction law solicitors in London have years of experience in construction disputes and conflict resolution and can assist you in establishing , firstly if you have a meritorious claim and secondly the strategy needed to take your claim forward.
Duty of Care
As stated above, for a claim of negligence to be successful, there are four factors that must be present. They include damage caused by a breach of contract, foreseeability of the damage, duty of care and a breach of that duty. When establishing a building project, there are many different professionals involved, each with their own duty of care to their clients. These could include architects, surveyors, plumbers, electrical contractors and so forth. Each member of the construction team will/should enter some form of contract.
For instance, an architect is instructed by a client to design a project and a surveyor to inspect the work being undertaken. Therefore, they have a duty of care to their client to ensure that work is being carried out effectively and in line with their contract. If that duty is breached, and the client suffers loss or damage, this can result in a breach of contract and a claim of negligence.
It can be quite simple to establish the negligence that has taken place, but it can be much more difficult to determine exactly who is liable for that negligence. Construction claims can be bought forward by multi-party actions, with numerous claims being brought upon numerous professionals involved in the project. Here at Van Eaton, we deal with all aspects of construction law in London and will assist you in identifying who is liable for negligence. Our experienced construction lawyers can draft up your claim and can identify if the duty of care has been breached.
Resolution of Construction Disputes
It is important that you initially, directly approach the person/company that you consider has been negligent and keep a record of how they respond. Some disputes can be settled between the claimant and the defendant, but if you do not get the result you wanted, then seek out a construction lawyer. You can also complain to the professional’s own regulator, as they can assess whether negligence or breach of contract has taken place. This however can be a very long-winded process and unlikely to result in recompense for financial loss suffered.
If these courses of action produce no resolve, then Van Eaton’s construction law solicitors in London are here to assist you every step of the way. We can act for you in a claim of professional negligence and can take your claim to court.
It’s essential to consider that not every mistake made by a professional will be worthy of a claim of negligence. It is expected that there may be some errors and delays in construction, and it can be frustrating, but it must be appreciated that not all breaches result in a meritorious claim.
Van Eaton Solicitors specialise in several areas of contentious law, such as probate disputes , property disputes (resulting and constructive trust), construction law and financial settlements in divorce proceedings, known as ancillary relief, in London. To make an inquiry or to book a consultation, please give us a call on 0208 769 6739. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form.