Riverside 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 Riverside, 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 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, 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 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 Riverside, 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 Riverside, California
Delays: Some minor delays in a construction project are all but guaranteed to occur. Typically, if contracts require a specific completion date, the contractor will give itself longer than the project would take under ideal circumstances, to account for possible delays. Moreover, construction contracts usually attempt to insure against delays, such as imposing fees on contractors if the project is delayed beyond a certain point. If no such clause is included in a contract, a court will usually award the client damages that could have been reasonably anticipated at the time the contract was entered into.
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: Subcontractors are hired by general contractors to assist them in large construction projects, typically 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 Liens: A mechanic's lien is a way for a contractor to secure payment if a landowner declines to pay. In such cases, if the contractor sues and wins, he or she can sometimes impose a mechanic's lien on the property he or she just worked on. This permits the contractor to force a sale of the property to cover the judgment. It is usually used when other attempts to secure payment fail.
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Can a Riverside, California Attorney Help?
Construction disputes and disagreements can be very challenging to deal with alone. The assistance of a Riverside, California real estate attorney can make the process of dealing with these disputes much quicker and easier.
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Life in Riverside
The City of Riverside is unsurprisingly the seat of Riverside County and home to numerous historical, cultural, and educational institutions. In fact, Riverside is called the "City of Arts and Innovation." The Fox Performing Arts Center is better known as the "Fox Theater" is best known for being the location for the first theater preview screening of the American Classic "Gone with the Wind." The Fox Theater was recently restored and reopened for a sold out Sheryl Crow concert. It's located in downtown near the California Museum of Photography, which boasts the most comprehensive photographic collection west of the Mississippi. The Riverside County Historic Courthouse is a historical and architectural attraction built in the "beaux arts" style. There are also a number of Queen Anne style homes in Riverside's Historic District.
Annual visitors come to Riverside for events like the Riverside International Film Festival, Riverside Air Show, and the Riverside Dickens Festival that campaigns for literary and community awareness. Other seasonal visitors include students attending the nearby institutions of higher education like nearby University of California at Riverside. UC Riverside is also the largest employer in the city with over 7,100 faculty and staff. California Baptist College, California Southern Law School, Riverside City College, and La Sierra University round out the other major colleges in Riverside. There are also a number of important courts in Riverside like the United States District Court, US Bankruptcy Court for Central California, Riverside Superior Court, and California Court of Appeals. You might guess there would be a number of knowledgeable lawyers in the area as well. Bakersfield actually offers a number of lawyers who specialize in more than Criminal, Bankruptcy, and Immigration cases. The bustling film industry in Riverside has brought a number entertainment and contract related lawyers to the city.