OSHA Defense

Five Reasons to Hire A Jacksonville Construction Attorney featured image

Five Reasons to Hire A Jacksonville Construction Attorney

According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA), the construction industry is on the rise in Jacksonville. From November 2018 to November 2019, 4,000 new construction jobs were created, and with this boom came opportunities for contractors to showcase their talents. However, whether you’re a novice construction professional or a seasoned veteran, there are several reasons to retain a Jacksonville construction attorney proactively before any issues arise. 

Related: 5 Tips to Prevent Construction Disputes

OSHA Inspections and Citations

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly one in five workplace fatalities were in the construction industry in 2018. A large portion of OSHA’s time and resources are spent evaluating the safety of workers through their formal inspection process. Inspections occur for one of three reasons: a complaint was submitted, there was an injury or fatality, or the job site was chosen at random.

The OSHA inspector meets with both a representative from management and a representative for the employees for an “Opening Conference” to discuss the purpose of the visit. He or she then conducts a “walkaround” in which any possible violations will be discussed as well as any specific reasons/incidents for the visit. To end the visit, the inspector will then hold a “Closing Conference” to discuss any apparent violations.

It can take up to six months to receive an official citation after a visit. Do not wait to receive a citation before reaching out to a Jacksonville OSHA lawyer. It is in your best interest to consult an attorney during an inspection or immediately after the conclusion of an inspection. If you feel a citation was issued without cause, you have the right to dispute the citation and defend yourself. Disputing an OSHA citation involves specific processes and deadlines in which an OSHA lawyer is well-versed. 

Employee Disputes

Whether stemming from poor communication, limited resources, or from an injury or fatality, employee disputes are bound to occur. An attorney at Cotney Attorneys & Consultants can assist you by:

  • Reviewing employee documentation.
  • Ensuring that all employee forms and insurance requirements are in compliance.
  • Determining whether an employee has a protective status (i.e., federal and state sick leave laws, disability laws, Title VII laws, etc.).
  • Evaluating what types of claims an employee could make and the best defense to both protect the company and your employees, including any subcontractors with whom you may work.

A Jacksonville construction dispute attorney can help set up workers’ compensation insurance and should be contacted immediately if an employee is injured or a fatality occurs. There are specific reporting requirements regarding injuries and fatalities to OSHA, so it is imperative to speak with an attorney immediately following a major incident. 

Whether protecting your own assets or filing a dispute of your own, a group of committed and experienced Jacksonville construction attorneys can improve the probability that your firm will be protected. 

Bid Protests

In order to secure government projects, you must submit a formal bid proposal which will be reviewed and either accepted or rejected. In the event that you feel your bid was wrongfully rejected, or if you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the bid process, you are entitled to bring this to the attention of the government agency conducting the bid. If this conversation doesn’t result in a favorable outcome, you can file a claim and appear in court. 

It is vital to base your protest claim on the reasons that the state of Florida finds to be acceptable for a claim. This process may be complex, which is why legal counsel from a Jacksonville construction dispute attorney can be crucial. Additionally, an attorney will be able to help you draft the bid before submitting to prevent potential issues. 

A construction attorney can discuss potential damages, including monetary, declaratory, and mandamus injunctions. Whether challenging a winning bid or protecting your firm’s bid, a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys increases the likelihood that your firm will be awarded a contract. 

Related: 5 Questions to Consider Before Filing a Bid Protest

Insurance Claims

The average construction and contracting business spends over $7,000 a year on various insurance policies to cover different aspects of their business. The primary insurance plans for a construction or contracting business include:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • Contractor’s Tools and Equipment Insurance
  • Professional Liability

Contractor’s tools and equipment insurance can be fairly straight forward. If a set of tools is stolen or damaged, you would file a claim and, so long as your equipment is less than five years old, your insurance will cover the cost of a replacement or repair.

Other forms of insurance such as workers’ compensation insurance can be a little more difficult to navigate. It is advised that you contact an experienced Jacksonville construction attorney to work alongside you if a claim is filed against your policy or if you are unsure which insurance policies should be purchased. 

Related: Getting Familiar with General Liability Insurance

Hurricane Damage

In the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Irma caused record-setting flooding to occur throughout Jacksonville. Storm surges rose to around five feet along the St. Johns River, swallowing homes and businesses alike. In the event that your jobsite suffers damage from a hurricane or tropical storm, it’s important to have one of our accomplished Jacksonville construction attorneys review your claim before submitting to your insurance company. 

The insurance agency associated with your policy may attempt to deny coverage. The insurance company will often send an adjuster to appraise the damages and report on his findings regarding your claim. The adjuster may report that your firm failed to mitigate damages via certain safety measures or precautions, and a Jacksonville construction dispute attorney can help ensure that damages are adequately recovered. 

Cotney Attorneys & Consultant’s experienced attorneys will provide sound legal advice to construction professionals at every level and can assist your firm with any construction need. Not only do we advise our clients on legal matters, but we also provide a myriad of other valuable services for construction businesses, including contract review, employment law advice, and litigation and arbitration services. We also advocate for clients involved in licensing complaints, permitting issues, stop-work orders, and more. 

If you would like to speak with a Jacksonville construction attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.