Escondido Construction Dispute Lawyers
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 Escondido, 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, 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 usually 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 Escondido, California can be extremely time-consuming, stressful, and costly. Nevertheless, there are (relatively rare) occasions where it is the only option.
Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Escondido, California
Delays in Construction: Delays are often 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 usually be liable to the landowner for any harm resulting from it.
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: With big construction projects, contractors usually hire other, smaller contractors to do some of the work for them. This is usually 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 allow 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 Escondido, California Attorney Help?
Construction disputes and disagreements can be very difficult to deal with alone. The assistance of a Escondido, California real estate attorney can make the process of dealing with these disputes much quicker and easier.
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Construction Dispute Attorneys in the Largest CA Cities
Life in EscondidoEscondido is located in San Diego County, California. The name "Escondido" is a Spanish word meaning "hidden". This is in reference to the city being situated in a valley and bordered by scenic hills. Escondido has a population of about 144,000 and is growing at a rapid rate.
Many major business and companies have their headquarters in Escondido, California. Some of the major employers for Escondido residents include Stone Brewing Company, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Escondido's population growth is supported by the presence of several residential communities, including Hidden Trails and Valley Center.
Escondido, California is an excellent city for leisure and entertainment. The downtown area features a number of cafes, art galleries, and restaurants. During the spring and summer seasons, the city hosts "Crusin' Grand", which is a public automobile show held every Friday. Crusin' Grand features ultra-hip hot rods, historic cars, and live DJ music. Other fun events include the Grape Day Parade and Festival, the Community Wellness Expo, and an Independence Day Celebration.
Lawyers in Escondido assist their clients through a variety of legal services. Escondido, California attorneys also contribute to the community through participation in city planning and development projects. Escondido lawyers are knowledgeable of the various laws and regulations that are unique to the city.