What Do You Have to Prove if You Sue a Contractor for Non-Performance?
An Orange County real estate litigation lawyer can provide you with assistance if you were involved in a residential or a commercial construction project and a problem occurred with the project. Many real estate projects in which you must hire contractors will involve a significant financial investment. When you contract for a project to take place, you want to ensure that the contractor performs according to the terms of your construction contract so your investment is protected and so the finished project meets your specifications.
Unfortunately, there are certain circumstances in which contractors do not comply with the terms of residential or commercial construction agreements. Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with assistance when you believe there was a breach of a construction contact and a contractor did not perform as expected.
If you wish to pursue a legal remedy against a contractor, you will have the burden of proving that a breach of your construction contract occurred or that a breach of either express or implied warranties occurred. You should get legal help as soon as possible so your attorney can help you to gather the necessary evidence to successfully prove your case and obtain a legal remedy.
The Burden of Proof When Suing a Contractor for Non-Performance
If you wish to pursue a claim against a contractor for not performing according to the terms of a construction contract, you’ll have to show that the contractor either breached the terms of your construction contract or failed to fulfill some other legal duty or obligation to you.
If a contractor did not complete a project according to the specifications that you agreed to in the contract, this is a potential case of non-performance and you would have to show where the contractor fell short in his obligations. If the contractor used substandard materials, delayed in completing the contract after the agreed-upon finish date, or otherwise failed to do what was promised, you could also pursue a claim for damages.
Not only are you obligated to prove the contractor actually did not perform the contract, but you also have to show you were damaged in some way by the nonperformance. If you prove the contractor failed in his obligations but you cannot show any financial loss, the court might find in your favor but you’d get only nominal damages (like a $1 award) because you failed to prove that the contractor’s nonperformance caused harm. You should work with your attorney in order to ensure you are able to prove how you were actually damaged by a contractor’s actions if you wish to pursue a claim to seek a legal remedy.
Pursuing a Legal Remedy After Contractor Non-Performance
Suing a contractor is not always possible for non-performance because sometimes construction contracts will contain arbitration clauses. If your construction contract does contain an arbitration clause, you will need to resolve your dispute in arbitration unless there is some very specific reason why the arbitration clause should not be enforceable.
The vast majority of arbitration clauses are enforced by the courts, so you’ll need to make your case before an arbitrator about why the contractor should be held accountable for not performing according to a contract’s terms. An Orange County real estate litigation lawyer can represent you during arbitration.
If you do not have an arbitration clause and want to pursue a legal remedy for non-performance, an attorney can assist you in negotiating an out-of-court settlement or in litigating your case and convincing a judge or jury to find for you. When you successfully prove a contractor failed to perform as promised, you could obtain monetary damages for any losses caused by the non-performance as long as you can specifically prove how badly you were damaged by the contractor’s failures.
You could also seek specific performance and ask that the court order the contractor to comply with the contract terms and perform as promised. An attorney can advise you on which legal remedy may be your best option to try to pursue and can help you to understand the likely outcome of taking legal action against a contractor for failure to perform.
Getting Help from An Orange County Real Estate Litigation Lawyer
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has extensive experience providing representation to clients when residential or commercial construction projects go badly. If you believe that your contractor has failed to perform as promised and that you have been harmed as a result of the contractor’s non-performance, our legal team is here to help you. Give us a call at 866-237-8129 or contact us online as soon as possible when you believe a problem has occurred with your construction project so you can find out how an Orange County real estate litigation lawyer can help you.