Mobile Construction Dispute Lawyers

Mobile Construction Dispute Lawyers, AL

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Construction Dispute Law in Alabama

When a property owner and a general contractor contract for a construction project to take place on some property in Mobile, Alabama, whether it's a house, some landscaping, or a remodeling project, there is always a gamble that something can go wrong. In fact, at least a very minor setback may be more likely than not.

Most often, landowners and construction contractors are able to resolve minor to moderate disagreements between themselves, and litigation is rarely necessary. Nobody likes litigation, so, to this end, most construction contracts have built-in remedies in case something goes wrong, like set price reductions if construction is delayed.

And even if disputes can't be resolved so easily, the courts still don't necessarily have to get engaged. For example, a construction contract may require mediation before any further action is taken. Mediation is a process by which a third party tries to guide the parties to the dispute to a settlement. The mediator cannot, however, render any binding decision. Another avenue is arbitration. This is where the parties go to a private arbitration service, which can render a binding judgment (usually enforceable through contract law, as the parties agree in advance to abide by the arbitrator's decision). Arbitration has benefits over litigation, as the parties can have a say in choosing the arbitrator (allowing them to have their case arbitrated by an expert on construction disputes, for example).

Because of the large cost in time and money involved, litigation in Mobile, Alabama is regarded a last resort. However, in rare cases, it does become necessary.

Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Mobile, Alabama

Delays: If the contractor is culpable in a major delay in a construction project (a delay of weeks or months, for example), a lawsuit could result. If the contract particularly states that completion by a specific date is very important, or the builder has a good reason to know this, a court will often award the owner compensation for any economic harm caused by a delay.

Owner's refusal to pay: Contractors can also be the victims in construction disagreements. Sometimes, the person who hired them will refuse to pay the agreed-upon fee, or withhold a portion of it. This, without more, certainly constitutes breach of contract. However, in such cases, the owner will rarely go to court and say "I just didn't feel like paying, so I didn't." Alternatively, they will claim that they had a very good reason to withhold all or part of the payment, such as unsatisfactory work by the contractor. In these situations, the court has to determine if the owner has a valid reason for not paying. If it concludes that he or she does not, it will order the owner to pay the agreed-upon price.

Subcontractors: Subcontractors are hired by general contractors to assist them in large construction projects, typically specialized tasks like installing plumbing. Nonetheless, no matter how much of the work is performed by subcontractors, the general contractor (the one that the client actually hired to do the project) is liable to the landowner as if it were doing all the work itself. This essentially means that, if a subcontractor messes up, the general contractor is the one who gets sued. But all is not lost in such a situation. If the general contractor has to compensate the owner because of the mistakes of a subcontractor, it can sue the subcontractor for whatever it had to pay to the landowner.

Mechanic's Lien: If the contractor wins in a case against the land owner, and the court orders the owner to pay the contractor for services rendered, the contractor needs a way to secure payment, if the owner refuses. In some cases, a mechanic's lien permits the contractor to force the sale of the land, and any improvements to it, in order to secure payment for the services it provided.

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Can a Mobile, Alabama Attorney Help?

Construction disputes and disagreements can be very challenging to deal with alone. The assistance of a Mobile, Alabama real estate attorney can make the process of dealing with these disputes much quicker and easier.

232 Real Estate, Housing & Property Law cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in Mobile

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Life in Mobile

Mobile is unsurprisingly the seat of Mobile County. You may not know, however, that Mobile is the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida. In fact, over 400,000 residents live in Mobile, which was the first state capital of Louisiana. Mobile is also famous for being a Gulf Coast cultural hub. the city boasts the oldest organized celebrations like Carnival and Mardi Gras.

Tourism plays a major role in the Mobile economy. At Battleship Memorial park you can tour the USS Alabama battleship from WWII and Korean War submarine the USS Drum. The Mobile Carnival Museum offers Mardi Gras history and memorabilia like floats and costumes. A number of historic antebellum house museums like the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion from 1855 can be found in Mobile as well. A few of the other exciting attractions to which tourists flock consist of the Gulf Coast Exploratoreum, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and Mobile Botanical Gardens that earn the city's nickname the "Azalea City."

Mobile is known nationally as a hub for business. Mobile industries include steel fabrication and building, aerospace, retail, medicine, manufacturing and transportation. The Alabama State Docks recently underwent a $300 million expansion project that provided new jobs. Additionally, Mobile's Austal USA shipbuilding company will be trusted with constructing U.S. Forces vessels after winning another multi-billion dollar defense contract with the United States Government in late 2010.

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