Frequently Asked Construction Litigation Questions
All sorts of disputes arise from construction projects which necessitate the need to work with a construction lawyer. Some construction disputes involve personal injuries, such as when a malfunctioning tool causes an injury. Other construction disputes involve a homeowner suing a contractor for poor workmanship. Another common construction issue occurs when a mechanics lien is placed on a construction project. Regardless of the type of dispute, construction litigation can be complex, and you would be well-advised to work with an experienced construction lawyer
Mechanics liens in Illinois are governed by the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that general and subcontractors who provide labor, material, fixtures, or machinery to improve real estate receive payment for their services and materials. Mechanic lien disputes are generally complex: if a contractor has placed a mechanics lien on a property you own or if you are a contractor who needs to place a mechanics lien, do yourself a favor and begin working with a construction lawyer immediately.
Attorney fees, especially in the construction context, typically depend on the underlying issue. For example, I represent injured construction workers on a contingent basis which means that I do not recover a fee unless and until I am successful in resolving the case. Conversely, in issues involving poor workmanship or mechanics liens or other issues, I represent clients on an hourly basis.
Many construction cases originate because of alleged poor workmanship. The general rule is that a contractor is only obligated to substantially perform. This basically means that a contractor is not obligated to perform with surgical precision. Instead, contractors only need to perform the “honest and faithful performance of the material and substantial parts of the contract with no willful departure from or omission of the essential terms of the contract.”
If that standard sounds confusing to you, you’re not alone. From a practical perspective, whether a contractor has performed “poorly” or met their standard of “substantial performance” is a factual question decided by a Judge.
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I’m Zach Anderson, a lawyer and partner at the law firm Bolen Robinson & Ellis, LLP. At BRE Law, I represent clients throughout Central Illinois in issues involving civil litigation. If you might be interested in working together, please submit a brief description of your legal issue through the following form. Do note, however, that submitting the form does not establish an attorney/client relationship. Also, please refrain from sending me confidential information.