There are instances when issues arise between the contractor and the owner most probably due to damages caused by the home construction or renovation. In these circumstances, the owner has the right to demand repairs from the contractor. Making this claim from the contractor means the owner doesn’t have to spend more money on the project and in many cases, saves them from an insurance claim.
In some cases, the contractor may refuse to repair the damage they caused. If this happens, your first resort is to contact the contractor’s insurer. You should know who their insurer is before signing a contract with any contractor. Tell the insurer what has happened and they will decide what they will do. They have two options available to them:
1. Take full responsibility for the damage done to your property by providing the required repair services to the owner which will serve as compensation.
2. Escalate a dispute in the damages and will not take accountability for it.
In the case where a contractor and his insurer chose to escalate a dispute for the damages done to the property, you could get an opinion from an expert on this kind of issue. The expert, however, is only limited to transcribing what has been said by the contractors and owners and should not get involved between the two parties. The advantage of getting an expert opinion from a professional is there is a high probability that the owner and the contractor will settle at this point on a mutually acceptable outcome.
This agreement could be a specific amount of money to be paid for the damages without taking full accountability. If the findings of an expert lawyer in the issue are favorable to the owner, he could use the expert’s opinion as evidence in any resultant lawsuit.
A dispute with a contractor can be settled inside a courtroom, where legal documents and opinions are presented to the judge. You may also ask for the help of government departments who assist people with this kind of problem. They can provide you with suggestions on your legal options.
You will probably be looked on favorably by the courts if the contractor does not cooperate with the disputed claim. Just make sure you have solid evidence, such as the expert’s findings, when you are in the courtroom. Photos of the damage caused by the contractor’s neglect or incompetence could also be presented in court. Usually, a person called the resolver will help both parties in agreeing to a settlement without resorting to legal action in court. The resolver make written agreements with both sides,and if ever anything needs to be escalated in court, he or she will do this.
The resolver should be able to help both parties resolve the issue in the quickest way possible. The resolver is usually hired by the contractor, so you do not have to worry about the cost. Although the resolver is recruited by the contractor, he or she should not take either side in the issue.
Once an issue is resolved with the assistance of a resolver, further legal action is no longer required. Damage disputes should not take long and should be finalized within eight to ten weeks.The time when the owner needs to escalate the issue to a higher court is when ten weeks have passed or when the contractor provides a direct statement that they will not be liable for the damages.
Once your case has been brought to attention of a higher court,it should be resolved in less than eight months. For faster processing of legal documents, make certain that every piece of evidence and papers you pass to the higher court are accurate.
So, in solving a dispute with a contractor, you should get the assistance of a professional attorney for this case, especially when things get more complicated.
We recommend Diane C. Carroll SQ, an experienced law firm, to help you with any contractor disputes.