El Cajon Construction Dispute Lawyers

El Cajon 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 El Cajon, California, 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 disputes 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.

Even if disagreements can't be resolved amongst the parties to the contract, they don't need to take their dispute into the court system. For instance, construction contracts typically call for mediation or arbitration before any disputes are resolved by the courts. Mediation is a process by which a third party serves as a sort of intermediary in settlement negotiations between the parties to the contract. The mediator can help keep negotiations on track, and suggest possible solutions the parties might not have thought of. The mediator can't issue a binding decision, however. Arbitration is a process through which the parties agree to have their dispute resolved by a third party, which can render a binding decision. Arbitration can be faster and cheaper than litigation, and it has some other advantages, as well.

Litigation of construction disputes in El Cajon, California can be extremely time-consuming, stressful, and costly. Nevertheless, there are (relatively rare) occurrences where it is the only option.

Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in El Cajon, California

Delays in Construction: Delays are frequently points of contention between contractors and landowners. Contracts sometimes have clauses which explicitly state that the project needs to be completed by a certain date, or penalties will be imposed on the contractor (reduced payments, for example). However, if the contract doesn't contain such built-in remedies, or one party refuses to abide by them, litigation may be necessary. If a contractor causes a delay that it could have prevented, it will typically be liable to the landowner for any harm resulting from it.

Owner's Refusal to Pay: If the contractor completes the project, and the owner refuses to pay the agreed-upon price, the contractor will typically file a lawsuit to recover what is owed. Of course, the owner will typically claim that there is a good reason for not paying, arguing that the contractor didn't conform to the project's specifications, or that the quality of construction was unacceptably poor. In such a case, the court will have to determine if the contractor actually breached the contract by doing shoddy work, which could, at least in part, excuse the owner's duty to pay.

Subcontractors: With big construction projects, contractors typically hire other, smaller contractors to do some of the work for them. This is typically work of a specialized nature, which the general contractor isn't equipped to handle (such as plumbing or electrical wiring). The general contractor is the one who is responsible for the satisfactory completion of the project. If a subcontractor makes a mistake, or causes a delay, the general contractor is ultimately liable to the person who hired them. However, if they are sued for the mistakes of a subcontractor, and lose, they can then sue the subcontractor to recover their losses.

Mechanic's Liens: Sometimes, when a contractor wins in a lawsuit against the landowner who hired him or her, and obtains a court order for payment, the contractor will still refuse to pay. Since a money judgment isn't worth much without a way to enforce it, the laws of many states have evolved to permit what's known as a "mechanic's lien." As a last resort, if a landowner refuses to pay the contractor for work done on the property, the contractor can force a sale of the property, and keep the proceeds, up to the amount of money owed.

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Can a El Cajon, California Attorney Help?

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

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Life in El Cajon

El Cajon, California is a city in San Diego County. It has a population of just under 100,000 people.

El Cajon, California was formed from a land grant from the Mexican government in 1845, and was officially incorporated as a city in 1912.

El Cajon is located inland from San Diego, and as a result, its climate has more variation than San Diego from one extreme to another, but compared to most other places, its climate can be considered quite mild. Summers in El Cajon, California are quite warm, though it rarely gets extremely hot.

Like most places in California, El Cajon sports a large amount of ethnic and religious diversity. El Cajon, California is also home to a burgeoning art and culture district, including art galleries, and a strong commitment to public art.

If you are facing a legal issue in El Cajon, California, chances are good that there is a lawyer nearby who is capable of handling your problem, whatever it might be. El Cajon, California lawyers are always ready to meet the legal needs of their community. If you have any legal trouble whatsoever, no case is too big or too small for an El Cajon attorney.

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