In Brentwood, a business lawyer must stay on his or her feet to keep up with the ever-changing rules and regulation of the construction industry. As more and more buildings are erected in Davidson, Sumner, and Williamson counties, it pays for both legal professionals and contractors to understand current construction laws. Here, attorney Brian T. Boyd addresses a few common misconceptions.
Q: Is it true that a contractor is not liable for issues that arise if they are following the instructions of the engineer, architect, or property owner?
Brian T. Boyd, Business Lawyer, Brentwood, TN: Unfortunately, this is not 100% correct. However, if you are asked to do something outside of the norm, it is best to document these requests in writing, along with your objections, to reduce the possibility of being held accountable for any issues down the road.
Q: Forming a business entity means my personal assets are protected, right?
Brian T. Boyd, Business Lawyer, Brentwood, TN: This is also not entirely true. First, you should understand that, when operated correctly, an LLC operation does act as a protective layer against personal financial ruin. However, your creditors are keenly adept at tracking down your financial habits. If you commingle your finances or fail to adhere to strict legal formalities, it is possible that your personal property may be considered business property. Even if you do not have subcontractors, it is a good idea for individuals to form a business entity, and to operate that entity in accordance with best practices to ensure it remains separate from their personal property.
Q: If a completed structure meets building codes, I cannot be sued for injuries incurred because of unsafe conditions.
Brian T. Boyd, Business Lawyer, Brentwood, TN: Building code requirements are considered the absolute minimum standards by which a building can be inhabited. In addition to these, you are also obligated to build in compliance with industry regulations as well as manufacturer specifications.
Q: The subcontractor is solely responsible for faulty work.
Brian T. Boyd, Business Lawyer, Brentwood, TN: This is a slippery slope and one you should not even begin to navigate without first making sure that you have a very thorough indemnity provision included in your contract. Without this in place, your subcontractor is essentially working as an extension of your business. Another thing to consider with subcontractors is that the scope of your contract should also include the cost of materials, a timeline, and who is responsible for covering the cost of making changes to account for unforeseen issues. This legal agreement, which should also apply to suppliers and third-party service providers, is the best way to protect your interests and will lay the groundwork for resolving any disputes that may come about. Every word of your contract must be carefully drafted so that you can best minimize risks.
Q: Is it true that the suing party must cover legal fees on my behalf if I win a lawsuit?
Brian T. Boyd, Business Lawyer, Brentwood, TN: Unfortunately, no. In some cases, it may be possible to force an accusing party to cover your legal fees. However, as a general rule, each party must pay their own expenses regardless of the outcome.
For more information on business law, tax law, or real estate law, contact The Law Office of Brian T. Boyd, PLLC by visiting www.boydlegal.co or call 615.541.5926.