Castro & Associates Construction Trial Lawyers

Los Angeles California Construction Law Blog

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.

Construction disputes over site conditions

We have gone over some of the causes of construction disputes (such as problems related to a contract), and as a construction company owner, you may have encountered some of them firsthand. In this blog post, we will take a look at disagreements that arise over site conditions, a potentially serious problem that can lead to significant challenges which may even derail a construction project altogether. As the owner of a construction company, you should approach these situations with extreme caution, not only to protect your financial interests but to protect the reputation of your business as well.

A dispute over site conditions may surface for a number of reasons. For example, subsurface condition differences or some other change that was not anticipated could be the source of disagreement. Ultimately, these disputes can lead to costly and time-consuming lawsuits if they cannot be resolved outside of the courtroom. Sometimes, it may be possible to discuss the ordeal and resolve the disagreement amicably, but these disputes often lead to heightened tensions and strong emotions, making productive communication all but impossible.

Did your insurance company offer you an unfair settlement?

Your insurance policy is a contract, and just as with any other legally binding contract in California, both parties must adhere to the terms. However, when it comes to insurance settlements, there may seem to be a lot of gray areas in regard to how much the company must pay in order to treat you fairly. According to the California Department of Insurance, there are state standards to ensure that you receive a fair settlement

Perhaps you believe the settlement offer you received is unreasonably low. Before you request that the California Department of Insurance review the claim, you should understand that the Commissioner will evaluate the circumstances based on these important questions:

  • Did the insurer fully consider all the evidence you provided in support of your claim?
  • What procedures did the insurer use in coming to a determination of the dollar amount for your damages?
  • How thoroughly did the insurer consider the available evidence and legal authority?
  • What amount did the claims adjuster say your damages are worth, and does the company's offer reflect that amount?
  • Did the insurance company's legal counsel inform it that you were likely to recover more than the limits of your policy?

Common types of home defects

Buying a home in California is exciting, and you have a place you and your family can make your own. However, if you discover a defect after you move in this can ruin the enjoyment. Construction defects come in all forms, and it is important to take action as soon as you discover a problem.

According to FindLaw, defects in construction fall into four main categories:

  • Subsurface
  • Material 
  • Design
  • Construction deficiencies

Construction lawsuits and stress management

We realize that construction litigation can be an incredibly difficult topic for many construction company owners and contractors to work through. Between legal fees, time lost and potentially significant financial penalties, these lawsuits are often hard to work through. To make things worse, other challenges may arise due to construction litigation, such as high levels of stress. As a result, it is pivotal to make sure that you manage your stress properly during this time, especially since high anxiety levels can complicate things even more and interfere with your ability to present your side in court.

When it comes to stress management, there are a number of strategies that may prove helpful. For example, you could find value in going over your legal options and building confidence in the approach that you will be taking. Working with experienced legal professionals could help you feel much better moving forward and eliminate some of your worries. You may also find that activities which have nothing to do with the lawsuit, such as exercising and outdoor activities, could help take your mind off of the problem at hand. However, it is also important to avoid procrastination and ensure that these diversions do not get in the way of your case.

Do homes ever get built on the wrong property?

You walk up to your brand new home the day that the construction crew finishes work. It's beautiful. It's everything you hoped it would be. You cannot wait to pick up the keys and go inside. It's a dream home.

There's only one problem: This isn't your property. You owned the next lot over. You didn't have time to check on the progress during the job since you went overseas for work, but you remember buying the lot. And this isn't it.

Construction disputes over abandonment

Construction disputes frequently arise over allegations of poor workmanship and contract issues. However, there are a number of other situations in which someone may decide to move forward with legal action against a construction company. For example, someone may accuse a contractor of abandoning a construction project. A property owner may believe that a project was not completed and that a contractor or construction company left before the job was done, prompting them to file a lawsuit. As with other types of construction disputes, it may be possible to handle these disagreements outside of court in some instances (but legal action is unavoidable in other cases).

There are a number of reasons why a contractor may have to "abandon" a project. For example, a contractor may not be able to start work on a project according to the timeframe that was initially agreed upon, prompting a property owner to accuse the contractor of abandoning the project. Or, perhaps a construction company is no longer able to work on a particular project temporarily or indefinitely, for whatever reason, which could also give rise to accusations of abandonment.

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