Fountain Valley 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 Fountain Valley, 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 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.
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 procedure through which the parties agree to have their dispute resolved by a third party, which can render a binding decision. Arbitration can be quicker and cheaper than litigation, and it has some other advantages, as well.
Litigating a construction dispute in Fountain Valley, California is definitely not something that anybody likes doing. Nonetheless, it is sometimes necessary, as a last resort.
Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Fountain Valley, California
Major Delays: If the contractor or a subcontractor is at fault in causing a considerable 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 typically 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 typically 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 responsible 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 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. Nonetheless, 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 case 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.
Find a Fountain Valley Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:
Can a Fountain Valley, California Attorney Help?
If you are involved in a dispute over a construction project, you should try to avoid litigation, and settle the matter as amicably as possible. However, litigation is sometimes crucial, and a Fountain Valley, California construction disputes attorney can be of great help.
49 Real Estate, Housing & Property Law cases posted to LegalMatch lawyers in Fountain Valley
Construction Dispute Attorneys in the Largest CA Cities
Life in Fountain ValleyFountain Valley, California has a population of about 55,000 and is located in Orange County. It was named after the many artesian wells found in the area during the time of the city's founding. Fountain Valley is mostly a residential bedroom community.
As a suburb, much of Fountain Valley, California is comprised of residential neighborhoods. However, the city has experienced a significant increase in commercial employment, particularly in the area known as the "Southpark" district. Southpark district is home to offices for several major corporations, including Starbucks and D-Link. The national headquarters for Hyundai Motor America is also located in Fountain Valley.
One of the main attractions in the city of Fountain Valley, California is Mile Square Regional Park. The park contains three different 18-hole golf courses, two spectacular lakes, sports fields, picnic areas, and a nature area filled with native Californian plants. Mile Square Regional Park also has a recreation center complete with tennis, racquetball, and basketball courts. Fountain Valley is also just minutes away from many Southern California amusement parks.
Lawyers in Fountain Valley, California help the community by assisting in a wide range of different legal fields. Fountain Valley lawyers can help answer legal questions, provide explanations of various laws, and represent clients in court.