What Legal Remedies are Available When a Contractor Fails to Perform Construction work?
An Orange County construction disputes attorney can provide you with assistance in situations where you contracted for work to be performed and a contractor failed to fulfill obligations set forth in your construction agreement. Whether you are involved in a residential or a commercial construction project, a contractor’s failure can have serious consequences for you. You need to know what your rights are and how to pursue a claim to obtain an appropriate legal remedy.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has extensive experience with construction disputes and can guide you through resolving your problems with your contractor. Our goal is to help you to find the best and most timely solution so you can minimize the loss from the contractor’s failure to perform work as required. Give us a call to find out more about how our firm can help.
How to Resolve Disputes with a Contractor
When you become involved in a dispute with a contractor, the goal is often to try to resolve the problem quickly so construction can resume, either with that contractor or with a replacement contractor if the problems make a continued relationship with the current contractor impossible.
There are a number of different ways to try to resolve a conflict. One option is to simply try to negotiate on the issue. You can do this with help from your lawyers on your own, or can work with a trained mediator to try to come to a consensus.
If no compromise or solution can be reached through negotiation, litigation could also be an option. However, there are arbitration clauses in many construction contracts and these clauses are typically considered to be enforceable.
If you have an arbitration clause in your contractual agreement, you will not be able to go to court but will need to go before an arbitrator who will issue a binding decision. Appeal of the decision made by the arbitrator is likely to be successful only in very limited circumstances where there was an issue with the arbitration procedure.
What Legal Remedies Are Available?
Whenever possible, you should try to find a compromise that will provide you with a satisfactory resolution to the problems you have with the contractor’s performance. This could involve, for example, a contractor agreeing to give you a partial refund for work not performed to your satisfaction or a contractor agreeing to remedy problems with the construction project.
If a contractor has breached the contract and there is no hope to come to an agreement, you also have other remedies as well. In some circumstances, such as when a contractor has not performed at all, you could withhold payment and thus not fulfill your own contractual obligations. If the contractor took you to court for not paying, you’d need to defend your actions by proving you didn’t pay because the contractor failed to perform.
You could also initiate arbitration proceedings or litigation and argue for the arbitrator or court to provide you with a remedy. The right remedy can vary. In some cases, specific performance is the best option. This would involve the contractor being told by the court to comply with the terms of the contract and fulfill his obligations under your agreement. This would allow you to get your project completed without having to bring in someone from the outside, but you might be wary of working with a contractor who you already don’t trust and who is being obligated to do work under a court order.
You could also seek monetary damages for the actual losses that you experienced as a direct result of your contractor’s breach of your construction contract. Damages would vary depending upon the extent of the problems you experienced and the actual harm caused by the contractor’s actions. It would be up to you to prove both that the contractor failed to perform according to the contract and to prove the extent of the financial loss that can be directly attributed to the contractor’s failures.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP will assist you in identifying which remedy may be the most appropriate and in making the most convincing case possible regarding the extent of damage resulting from the actions of the contractor.
Getting Help from An Orange County Construction Disputes Attorney
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with assistance resolving all different types of problems that arise during residential and commercial construction projects. Give us a call today at 714-505-3000 to find out more about how our expert construction disputes attorneys can assist you with proactively addressing conflicts and seeking appropriate legal remedies.