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Los Angeles California Construction Law Blog

Construction disputes involving wages

Whether you are a small contractor or run a large construction firm, there are countless reasons why a dispute may surface. However, some disputes, such as those which involve those who work for your company, can be especially difficult to deal with. Construction disputes which involve employees or sub-contractors may arise over any number of issues, but many involve wages. A worker may claim that they were not paid for overtime, that they were not compensated in accordance with their contract or that they were not paid at all. It is crucial to handle these claims appropriately, since they may lead to further action (such as litigation) if they are not resolved.

Sometimes, these disputes are centered around a simple misunderstanding. In some instances, a contractor may not have realized that they did not fully compensate certain workers. On the other hand, a worker may be confused and accidentally believe that they were not paid in full. Communication can help clear up confusion and prevent these issues from leading to further action, and ensuring that all workers have been paid may prevent additional challenges from arising. In some instances, an employee may demand that they receive more compensation (even if they are not entitled to additional pay), which may lead to legal action.

What should I look out for when hiring a contractor?

When having work performed on your Los Angeles home, you must choose a contractor wisely. Making the wrong choice can cost you money as well as time. It can also lead to an extended legal dispute if contractual obligations are not met. Fortunately, being choosey about a contractor can prevent these occurrences from happening. Reader's Digest recommends looking out for the following red flags when selecting a contractor. 

Your concerns are dismissed

How can I choose a good home improvement contractor?

Whether you're renovating a room or building an addition onto your home, finding a reliable home improvement contractor is crucial. Not only will it ensure you're satisfied with the finished product, it will also prevent costly construction disputes from occurring. ConsumerAffairs.com offers the following advice for people in search of reliable contractors to perform work on their Los Angeles homes. 

The first step is to ask friends and family for recommendations. From here, you can reach out to contractors to find out more about the services they offer, rates, and other crucial concerns. A good construction company will be able to provide ample information and will have a presence on social media as well as a website. Companies that are lacking these basic features might not be reputable. You can also search for a company online to access reviews, both good and bad. 

Deciding if an insurance claim is necessary

Many things can go wrong during a construction project, and our law firm has covered many of these issues on this blog. For example, a dispute may arise among workers or disagreement may involve a client. Moreover, many different insurance issues can surface and some contractors and construction company owners may have difficulty determining whether or not they should move forward with an insurance claim. It is pivotal to carefully review the details of what took place and ensure that you have taken every measure to protect your business and gain access to any benefits that you are entitled to.

For starters, a careful review of all relevant details is critical. You should closely look over the ins and outs of what took place and do everything you can to decide if filing an insurance claim is the right move. If you were covered by insurance and have suffered losses following a job-related incident, it is pivotal to gain access to any benefits that are available. Our law office knows how devastating these situations can be and we are well aware of how helpful a successful claim often is (not only from a financial standpoint but from an emotional point of view as well).

Understanding "termination for convenience"

The contracts that you hold with various partners in Los Angeles not only guarantee you work but also stability for your company. It is easy to understand, then, why you would be upset were a contracted partner to simply walk away from your agreement. Typically, one would have to cite cause in order for ending its contractual agreement with you. Some organizations and companies, however, may say that they are allowed to terminate their contract for their convenience. Many have come to us here at Castro & Associates questioning if this is even allowed, and if so, what are they entitled to collect if a partner ends their agreement in such a way. 

The concept of "termination for convenience" does exist and is indeed valid, yet it is not a benefit that is automatically extended to all companies. Per the Congressional Research Service, government agencies are automatically given the right to terminate a contract for convenience whenever they enter into an agreement with you. Private companies, on the other hand, must negotiate to include such a benefit in their contracts. 

Common reasons why retaining walls collapse

In Los Angeles and other areas of California, retaining walls are a common sight for residential and commercial buildings. For architects, retaining walls are a perfect solution when they have to build in an area that is hilly or has a slope. Not only are retaining walls an important design element, but they also provide opportunities for creative and unique landscaping.

Like any structure, retaining walls can fail. This can be due to design flaws or simply the forces of nature. Torrential rains can cause landslides that retaining walls cannot withstand. Here are three common reasons why retaining walls fail.

The long-term impact of a construction lawsuit

Construction litigation surfaces for countless reasons, and many have been covered on this blog. Each case is different and the impact of a lawsuit will vary from one to another. However, there are a number of ways in which your construction company may be impacted from a long-term standpoint and it is important to prepare for these potential challenges. Moreover, by doing everything you can to handle the case correctly and improve your odds of a better outcome in court, you may be able to avoid some of these consequences or lessen their blow.

Construction litigation can affect construction companies in many ways, and some of these effects may not be evident until months or years down the road. For example, a contractor or construction company may lose clients who have supported them for years, and critical projects may be canceled. Financial penalties resulting from litigation may prevent a construction company from expanding or moving forward in various ways, and the damage to a business' reputation could scare off new clients. Sometimes, these challenges can be so serious that they ultimately lead to a construction company closing altogether.

Litigation after recently starting a construction company

We have approached construction litigation from a number of angles, but in this post, we will look into some of the challenges that people who have recently launched a construction company may face. If you recently started a construction business, you may be overwhelmed by a lawsuit for different reasons. For example, you may be dismayed that challenges have arisen early on and you may be unsure of how to handle the lawsuit. Moreover, you may be especially stressed out because you have already had to deal with various hurdles as the owner of a new construction company.

It is essential to be aware of how much litigation may impact your business. An unsuccessful court ruling could do more than introduce financial hardships, it could adversely affect the future of your company. Whether you run a smaller construction company or a major construction firm, it is pivotal to do all you can to secure a favorable end result in the courtroom. By preparing for litigation and having a clear understanding of all relevant issues, you may be in a better position to do just that.

What causes landslides?

While some people may regard the ground beneath their feet as solid and unmovable, as a Californian, you probably know that that is not always the case, as earthquakes and landslides can cause the ground to shift out from under your feet. Though you may have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of a landslide, you may not know what causes them.

According to Earth-Science Reviews, landslides occur on every continent, and while they can pose a serious threat to the human population, they also play an important role in landscape evolution. Landslides involve a number of different movements, including falling, flowing, sliding, spreading or toppling, of a mass of earth, rock or debris down a slope under the influence of gravity. A landslide can occur on engineered slopes as well as natural ones. 

Constructing a building to withstand earthquake forces

Earthquakes are extremely dangerous in some cases, especially when powerful. Homes and other structures need to be built to withstand any earthquake that takes place. Failing to consider the potential impacts of an earthquake could lead to catastrophic outcomes if the buildings cannot withstand the movement.

There are several reasons why buildings fail during earthquakes. Fortunately, good contractors know how to make the changes necessary to prevent homes from failing under the pressure of an earthquake.

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