When a contractor or builder fails to live up to their obligations stipulated in the contract, it could have severe ramifications for you or your business. You may not get what was agreed upon, you may end up with something different from your expectations and could even end up with defective services/products.
Contract disputes can range from minor to severe, but no matter what the case may be, if a contractor or builder has agreed to fulfill an obligation by contract – you have legal recourse for enforcing that agreement.
Common construction contract disputes include:
- Failure to use approved subcontractors.
- Failure to follow the building specifications (i.e., blueprints, design choices, etc.);
- Missing building deadlines without proper excuse or permission.
- Use of materials not approved in the contract.
- Excessive increase in construction, labor, or materials cost.
- Failure to complete the work for the quoted price (based upon the language of the contract);
- Poor construction or substantial construction defects; or
- Nonperformance that amounts to a contract default.
Although these are not the only conflicts that may emerge from a contractual agreement, an experienced Arizona construction litigation lawyer can assess your claim when and if a builder or contractor breaches their contract with you.
THE POWER OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION
Using an attorney is often the best way of ensuring that your contractual obligations are adhered to. This shows how committed you are to maintaining and enforcing your rights according to the agreement’s terms. Get your lawyer involved by drafting an official letter or making a formal demand for compliance. Your attorney can also communicate with contractors, which may help rectify any issues quickly and efficiently; as there is always the risk of possible legal action looming over them, they will likely be motivated to remedy the situation without delay.
Legal action may need to be taken when more formal solutions are needed to get the other party to adhere to the contract. During this process, you must have a lawyer who knows how to navigate construction contract litigation and fight for your rights competently.
REVIEW OF THE CONTRACT TERMS
When starting a legal case, it is essential to thoroughly scrutinize every aspect of the agreement and identify any violations you believe have occurred. Contracts are often incredibly complex, purposely written in such a way as to disguise one’s rights and obligations; thus, correctly comprehending your entitlements under the contract is vital for ensuring they are enforced properly.
FILING THE COMPLAINT
At the beginning of any formal dispute, your lawyer will submit a legal document called a complaint. This formal statement explains the general details and facts of the dispute and lists who is involved. Identifying everyone correctly is essential, as this step is crucial.
For instance, most building projects involve both principal contractors plus many subcontractors. Depending on what kind of situation you are facing, different people may need to be included in the filing.
THE DISCOVERY PROCESS
Uncovering the necessary facts to build a solid case is paramount, and this can be achieved through Discovery – exchanging information and documents between all parties. Although it may take up an abundance of time, no other step in trial preparation is more essential for success than Discovery.
The case may have to be taken to court if negotiation and settlement options have been exhausted without success. A judge or jury or arbitrator will then hear the evidence and make a final ruling. As veterans in this arena, Anthony Law Group is proud to offer you years of trial experience from which your case will benefit!
REMEDIES FOR BREACH OF A CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT
A remedy is the actual “fix” to your problem and the breach of contract. It can occur by mutual agreement at an early stage, or as the result of the judge’s or jury’s or arbitrator’s decision at trial.
In legal terms, “specific performance” requires the breaching party to adhere strictly to the requirements in a contract. For example, if a subcontractor made an error when installing plumbing for a bathroom, specific performance would entail them going back and ensuring that their work was completed correctly.
Requiring specific performance from the contractor only makes sense if you trust that the contractor can properly complete the work. If you no longer believe that the contractor is capable of doing the correct job, then you should seek damages instead of specific performance.
Instead of obtaining specific performance, you can be awarded monetary compensation that will restore you to the position in which you would have been if the breach had not taken place. This can include:
- Financial compensation to resolve the actual issue brought on by the breach (for instance, repairing a broken pipe in the above example);
- Repair costs for other issues created by the breach;
- Compensation to cover for the delay in construction; or
- Attorney’s fees (in limited circumstances).
THE ANTHONY LAW GROUP: ARIZONA CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION ATTORNEYS
If you have been wronged by the actions of a builder or contractor in regards to your residential home or commercial property, don’t bear the burden alone. The Anthony Law Group has extensive expertise and experience with construction litigation that will fight for your rights! Don’t delay – contact us today for a consultation so we can get started protecting what is rightfully yours. The Anthony Law Group is here to help—construction litigation lawyer Stephen J. Anthony understands how disputes like this work and has been successfully handling them for over 25 years in Arizona. Call today to set up a consultation.