Are you a contractor or someone who owns your own construction business? If so, you probably already know that while most projects go smoothly, there is always that one that just doesn't go according to plan. If you're currently at work on a job like this, you might be wondering if it's time to contact a construction litigation attorney. While it's never a bad idea to seek some professional legal advice, there are a few signs that definitely mean you need to call in the pros.
You Disagree About Money
If you have already finished your work and are still waiting to get paid what you're owed, there could be a problem. Every once in a while, clients will agree to a cost upfront and maybe even pay a deposit. Then, when it comes time to pay the rest of their bill, they will backtrack a bit and try to renegotiate the price or find reasons why they should pay less.
Contractors should not have to deal with not getting paid fairly and on time, but it does happen. If you have clients who won't pay or who think they should pay less than they owe, you'll likely need a lawyer on your side to get full payment for your job.
You Can No Longer Talk on a Personal Level
When clients don't pay or complain about your work, they may cease communication with you. Sometimes, they do this as an avoidance technique. In order to reach the client and come to an agreement, you will usually need to get attorneys involved. On the other hand, clients sometimes retain their own legal counsel and will not speak to you personally. Instead, they will refer you to their lawyer. When this happens, don't waste time. Your opponent already has legal counsel, so you definitely need it, too.
Your Client Is Gathering Evidence
Finally, take notice if your client starts to gather evidence against you. You might spot them taking pictures of your work, or they might ask for copies of documentation or communication you have had. Sometimes, clients do these kinds of things for innocent reasons. Other times, they do it in an attempt to build a case against you. Thus, always be on your guard, and seek your own legal help if you think the client is trying to gather evidence.
Even if you are not currently experiencing any of these issues, having a qualified, experienced lawyer on your side is wise. So, retain counsel ahead of time or when the need arises. Either way, just get the help you need.