San Francisco Construction Dispute Lawyers

San Francisco Construction Dispute Lawyers, CA

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Construction Dispute Law in California

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

Most often, the owners of land and contractors can end disputes before they get too serious, thus eliminating the need for litigation. Most contracts governing construction projects have built-in remedies for the most common problems, usually requiring the party that causes a delay or other problem to pay the other party a set fee.

Even if the parties can't easily resolve their disputes, and someone else needs to intervene, that somebody doesn't always need to be a judge or jury. Many construction disputes call for mediation, during which a neutral third party helps the parties to the dispute negotiate a settlement. They might also go through arbitration, during which a third party renders a binding decision.

Litigation of a San Francisco, California construction dispute is never something that anyone wants to do. Nonetheless, there are sometimes no other options.

Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in San Francisco, California

Major Delays: If the contractor or a subcontractor is at fault in causing a large delay to a project (several months, for example), this may lead to a lawsuit. If the contract stated that time was of the essence for some reason (maybe the project was a new store that the owner hoped to open before the holiday shopping season, for example), a court can usually award the owner any damages that were caused by the delay.

Owner's refusal to pay: if the contractor finishes a project to specifications, and the owner of the property doesn't pay the contractor, the contractor will most likely file a lawsuit to recover the agreed-upon price. In such cases, the owner will usually argue that the contractor's work wasn't of acceptable quality. In these cases, the court must decide who first breached the contract. In these cases, it's the party who did not breach first who wins the lawsuit. If the court finds that the contractor breached the contract through sub-quality work product, the owner will not be liable for payment (though he may have to pay for materials and labor), and if the court finds that the construction was acceptable, the owner has to pay, because he is the party in breach.

Subcontractors: Subcontractors are hired by general contractors to assist them in large construction projects, usually specialized tasks like installing plumbing. However, 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 basically 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 Liens: A mechanic's lien is a way for a contractor to secure payment if a landowner refuses to pay. In such cases, if the contractor sues and wins, he or she can sometimes impose a mechanic's lien on the property he or she just worked on. This allows the contractor to force a sale of the property to cover the judgment. It is usually used when other attempts to secure payment fail.

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Can a San Francisco, California Attorney Help?

If you have a construction dispute, you should first try to resolve it amicably with the other party. If this fails, it is almost always essential to hire a San Francisco, California construction disputes attorney, who can advise you on the next steps in the process.

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Life in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most exciting cities in California.  Known for its diverse population, liberal atmosphere, and gorgeous location, San Francisco is a small area that has a lot to check out!

One of the most famous attractions is the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.  Gorgeous views of this attraction can be seen from the Lands End hike.  Of course, nothing beats actually driving on the bridge and experiencing its beauty. 

Other popular attractions include the San Francisco Museum of Art, Chinatown, Ghiradelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf at Pier 39, Golden Gate Park, the Metreon, Union Square, and the beautiful Embarcadero. 

Really a few paragraphs cannot encompass the diverse, fun, and exciting vibe of this hip metropolitan city.  San Francisco's downtown is known at the "Financial District," which has offices of many high-tech start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, as well as law firms!  Everyone from small, to mid-size, to large multi-national firms have an office location in San Francisco.  What is great is that Northern California residents can shop around and choose the attorney and/or firm that will suit their needs best.  Simply put, San Francisco has it all. 

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