Seattle Construction Dispute Attorneys
Comprehensive Litigation Guidance in Bellevue
Commercial construction projects continue to provide a wide spectrum of opportunities to developers, general contractors, and subcontractors. No project is without risk, however, and in some cases, complications may result.
Our Seattle construction dispute lawyers are prepared to assist you with conflicts involving:
- Bond Claims
- Change Orders
- Design Defects
- Delay Claims
- Mechanic’s Liens
- Retainage Claims
How Mechanic’s Liens Work in Washington
When a subcontractor is hired to provide labor or materials to a private construction project, they have the right to file a mechanic’s lien if they are not appropriately compensated for their work. Subcontractors must meet certain deadlines and notification requirements to exercise their lien rights.
If you are a subcontractor that has not been paid, you will have 90 days from the completion of the job to record a mechanic’s lien. Once the lien has been recorded, you must provide the project owner with a copy of the lien within 14 days, and you will have up to 8 months to foreclose on the lien.
In some cases, you may need to deliver a pre-lien notice to the project owner and general contractor at least 60 days before you start work. The pre-lien notice preserves your right to file a mechanic’s lien in the event of nonpayment.
Our team is extensively familiar with mechanic’s liens and can help subcontractors exercise their rights. We can determine whether a pre-lien notice is required and ensure you comply with all deadlines.
How Construction Bond Claims Work in Washington
When a bonding company issues a bond, they guarantee the performance of a contractor. Payment bonds promise compensation to subcontractors, while performance bonds confirm the contractor will meet all of a project’s contractual requirements.
In Washington, private construction projects that require the services of a general licensed contractor must obtain a bond with a minimum amount of $12,000. Public works projects generally need to obtain both payment and performance bonds.
When a subcontractor working on a public works project is not appropriately paid, they must file a bond claim with the applicable bonding company and government entity. The bond claim must be filed within 30 days of completing work on the project, but in some cases, a subcontractor may have even less time. If you are a subcontractor contributing to a public works project and have concerns about getting paid, our Seattle construction dispute attorneys can review your situation and recommend the best course of action.
How Retainage Claims Work in Washington
Owners of a public works project are permitted under the law to withhold up to 5% of a contractor’s earnings. This retainage amount is set aside for the payment of all applicable taxes as well as any issues of non-payment involving subcontractors. If a prime contractor wishes to avoid having any portion of their compensation withheld, they can instead post a bond.
If you are a prime contractor looking to recover what you are owed from the retainage fund, you will need to make a retainage claim. You must file a retainage claim within 45 days of the completion of the public works project and deliver notice to the public owner. In many cases, the public works project is “completed” when the owner notifies the applicable department of revenue, department of labor and industries, and the employment security department. Once notice has been given, you will have up to 4 months to pursue legal action.
Get the Professional Legal Representation You Need
If you are struggling to navigate a contentious construction dispute, our skilled litigators at Tomlinson Bomsztyk Russ will work tirelessly to secure a favorable outcome. Our Seattle construction dispute lawyers are committed to helping prime contractors and subcontractors exercise their rights and recover the full amounts they are owed.