If you are embroiled in a construction dispute, the pressure of resolving the dispute on your own can be overwhelming. From contract violations to the damage done to your home, getting a general contractor to accept responsibility for causing a dispute can turn into a futile attempt at resolving your differences. The solution for resolving a construction dispute is to enlist the legal support of an experienced construction attorney.
Before you meet with a construction attorney, you should prepare a list of questions that help you determine whether the lawyer is the right match for your type of case. Questions that determine the level of experience resolving construction disputes should be one of your primary concerns, as well as how the attorney communicates with clients when answering case-related questions or providing updates about the status of a civil lawsuit. You also want to know the fee arrangement followed by the attorney, as well as discover whether the lawyer delegates some or all of the responsibilities of handling your case to another attorney or paralegal.
Although these questions help you decide whether to hire a construction lawyer, you also should ask questions that educate you about common terms that your attorney might refer to during the course of finding a resolution to a construction dispute.
What is a Mechanic’s Lien?
A mechanic’s lien is a type of insurance policy for a general contractor in case the general contractor does not get paid for services provided. If you refuse to pay the general contractor overseeing your project until your dispute gets resolved, the general contractor might file a mechanic’s lien to secure payment for supplies and services. In California, suppliers and general contractors have to file a preliminary notice within 20 days of providing labor and/or materials.
What is the Difference Between Construction Law and Defect?
A surprisingly large number of construction lawyers do not know the answer to this question. Construction defects represent just one element of California construction law. Other elements include breach of contract and addressing property damage issues. An attorney who knows the answer to this question confirms the knowledge required to address construction disputes.
What is a Waiver of Subrogation?
Many construction contracts include a waiver of subrogation clause in the Insurance requirements section. This common provision prevents an insurance company that has already compensated for a financial loss from suing another party involved in a construction project that caused the financial loss.
What Does Scope of Work Mean?
Scope of work, which also is called statement of work, is an important part of a construction contract that provides a detailed explanation of the work a general contractor must complete. A scope of work crafted by a construction attorney and the lawyer representing the general contractor typically includes descriptions of milestones, job responsibilities, and every technical specification. A scope of work written into a construction contract also should include instructions on how to address one or more disputes. Not following a scope of work agreement can cause a breach of contract.
What Licensing Requirements Must California Contractors Follow?
California has established some of the most stringent licensing requirements for construction contractors. Construction workers employed by contractors must display the appropriate technical skills, as well as know local building codes. In addition, California licensing requirements prohibit unlicensed contractors from working on construction projects. Achieving a certain level of experience also is an important construction licensing requirement in California.