Ontario 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 Ontario, 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, 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, typically 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.
Litigating a construction dispute in Ontario, California is definitely not something that anybody likes doing. However, it is sometimes necessary, as a last resort.
Examples of Construction Disputes That Might Lead to Litigation in Ontario, 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: Contractors can also be the victims in construction disputes. 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." Alternatively, 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 cases, 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.
Subcontractor Disputes: When a construction company is contracted to complete a large project, there is typically a great deal of specialized work to be done which they aren't equipped to handle. As a result, they hire other contractors, who, in this arrangement, are subcontractors, to do some of the work. However, the general contractor (the one that the landowner hired to do the work) is still responsible for the completion of the project - if a subcontractor causes a problem, the general contractor is on the hook for it. This sometimes leads to landowners suing general contractors for the mistakes of subcontractors. If the general contractor loses, and has to pay the client, the general contractor can then sue the subcontractor for whatever amount of money it had to pay.
Mechanic's Liens: If the contractor sues a land owner and wins, he will likely obtain a monetary judgment. If the owner refuses to pay, the contractor needs some way to recover. This is where the mechanic's lien comes into play. It permits a contractor to force the sale of the land or other real property that he just worked on, and use those proceeds to cover costs.
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Can a Ontario, 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 Ontario, California construction disputes attorney, who can advise you on the next steps in the process.
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Construction Dispute Attorneys in the Largest CA Cities
Life in OntarioOntario, California is a city in San Bernardino County. Its current population is about 170,000 people.
For thousands of years, the area now known as Ontario was a hunting and foraging ground for the semi-nomadic Tongva band of Native Americans. People of European descent arrived when Mexican settlers began populating the area.
Ontario's early economic growth was fueled by agriculture, and tourism by wealthy Californians, who viewed the area as a health resort, and it is still a destination for people who enjoy a warm, dry climate, either for recreation or retirement.
During and after World War Two, Ontario, and many other suburbs, experienced a housing boom, thanks to the explosion of industrial activity, which significantly increased the population. Modernly, there is still some manufacturing activity in Ontario, California, which is an important part of its economy.
Owing to its diversity and relatively large population, a thriving legal community has sprung up in Ontario. Ontario, California lawyers are as diverse as the community itself, and virtually every imaginable practice area is represented. If you need legal advice or representation, an Ontario, California lawyer is a good person to ask.