There might come a time when you find yourself in a messy situation such as a general contractor dispute and there are simple resolution alternatives for such matters.
Even if you made sure to pick out the best contractor that suits your need, there is still a possibility of a general contractor dispute to happen. Most people would think that the only way to get past this issue is through a lawsuit which tends to be expensive and very time-consuming, but there are several other ways you can opt for to find resolution.
What To Do When You Are Hoping To Skip court?
When you and your contractor can’t see eye-to-eye anymore, there are a few things you need to talk about. Before your decide on taking things to the courts, your contract with the general contractor might require you to go through a few things first.
Contact the state or local agency. General contract disputes happen from time to time, and this is why the state’s contractor licensing agency will most likely have a resolution program your you. You can even check the country’s programs on such matter because there is a high possibility that they might have one too.
Binding arbitration. In this resolution, a litigator or a judge is involved and acts as the arbitrator, hearing the two sides of the story. When the arbitrator renders a decision, both parties are bound to it. When one party is not satisfied with the decision, they are not given the right to object.
Find mediation. You can approach a senior construction litigator or a retired judge to hear what both sides have to say about the dispute. It is best to find a mediator to stand between the two parties and help both sides understand the other side’s point of view on the matter so that they will reach a settlement. None of both sides are bound to whatever decision the mediator ends up giving.
The local courts recommend arbitrators and mediators. Several nonprofit associations such as the American Arbitrator Association may have the mediators and arbitrators to help you resolve your issues. There will be fees involved in such a resolution, and it depends on the location and complexity of the case on hand, but it won’t be that expensive given that both parties share the cost of the litigation.
What To Do When You Take The Issue To Courts Sans Lawyers?
Mediation and arbitration are the two most common resolutions for people who do not wish to go to court, but if both of those did not work for you and your contractor, you could always take the issue to small claims court, which differs from the civil court.
The first thing you have to know about going to small claims court is that the fees are very minimal as compared to civil court given that their upper limits are usually in the $3,000-$5,000 range. These courts can provide a very user-friendly instruction manual regarding the proceedings which means that you will not will not need to hire a lawyer anymore. These are the general things you need to know, but keep in mind that rules do vary from one state to another:
The jurisdiction matters. Some contracts define it, but in the event that it isn’t a part of the contract you made, you can always file the case in the location where you live, where your contractor lives, or where the property was based. There are several paperwork involved in such proceedings, and you can call the court clerk to obtain these or you could always check online because some courts make these things available there. In the event that your contractor loses and doesn’t pay, you ought to expect additional fees on your bill, together with the $50 you need to spend for filing the case.
The court would be requiring you to provide substantial documentation that you were not harmed in the process. Given it is smaller than the civil court, the small claims court is cheaper and tend to be less painful and grueling. The only downside would be the mountain of paperwork you got to do on your own because a lawyer isn’t there to help you out.
What To Do When You Take Matters To Civil Court? Get A Good Lawyer!
There will be cases of dispute that are far too complicated for the small claims court and thus you have to make your way to the legal system. It would be advantageous in your part if you hire a lawyer that has experience with such cases.
The lawyer will assist you with the whole process, from filing the case which most likely will cost you about $250 to $800, up until the claims will be made.
Another thing you have to think about is the fee for the services of your attorney which you might want to pay using a percentage of what you might recover. Although, there are lawyers that would prefer to be paid on an hourly basis which can range from $200-$500 an hour.