Oceanside 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 Oceanside, California, whether it's a house, some landscaping, or a remodeling project, there is always a risk 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 disagreements 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, normally 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 disagreements 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.
Litigating a construction dispute in Oceanside, 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 Oceanside, California
Major Delays: If the contractor or a subcontractor is at fault in causing a massive 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 normally award the owner any damages that were caused by the 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." Rather, 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, normally 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 authorizes 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 Oceanside, California Attorney Help?
Construction disputes and disagreements can be very hard to deal with alone. The assistance of a Oceanside, 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 OceansideOceanside, California is the third-largest city in San Diego County. Its population is just under 180,000 people.
Oceanside is located near Camp Pendleton, which is the busiest, and one of the largest, military installations in the U.S., and a major source of the area's economic activity.
Oceanside, California was originally settled by Europeans in 1769, when Spanish missionaries arrived in the area, though the area had been populated by Native Americans for thousands of years before, and became part of Spain's North American empire. In 1821, when Mexico gained independence from Spain, the area now known as Oceanside, and the rest of California, became part of Mexico. The area fell under U.S. control after Mexico lost the Mexican-American war.
This led to a land rush into the newly-acquired territories by American settlers. By the early 20th Century, Oceanside began to develop into the beach community that we would recognize today.
Oceanside has a climate which, for many people, is nearly perfect, with temperatures rarely exceeding 80 degrees, or dropping below 40 degrees, coupled with small amounts of rain.
Oceanside, California is a very attractive area to live, owing to its proximity to one of the largest cities in the U.S., and its mild climate. It should be no surprise, then, that given its fairly large population, and attractive living conditions, many Oceanside, California lawyers practice in the area. An Oceanside, California attorney can handle just about any legal issue a resident of the area is likely to face.