The contractor: A blanket term used for individuals who provide services for business and individuals often outside the scope of their own services or abilities. if you’re a homeowner, you may have contractors coming over to work on repairs or installations. If you’re a business owner, you may have contractors making deliveries to or from you, or assisting with changes to storefronts and buildings. The one common element between contractors is the contract; a legally enforceable agreement between parties. In the case of home repairs, perhaps a clause in the contract includes additional property damages, or something time sensitive like a water heater repair before winter.
If you are in a contract, there are certain things you or another party are legally required to do or not do. In the case of a delivery, for example, a contract may say “To be delivered by Tuesday evening.” If the shipment is not delivered by then, there is a breach of contract. If it’s delivered by Wednesday morning, however, that may be small enough to not warrant a lawsuit. If the contract states specifically “Time sensitive,” then there may be a lawsuit waiting to happen.
If someone breaches your contract, you may file for a lawsuit. Make sure that the wording in the contract constitutes a breach on their part before filing, or it may be a waste of time and money to pursue, like in the example above. If the dollar amount being disputed is under a certain amount, based on the state you’re in, you may instead file to small claims court, which is a much cheaper and easier process than higher level courts.
The bottom line with Contract Disputes is to identify that the opposing party[s] have failed to meet requirements laid out in the contract and that the contract is legally enforceable. If the requirements laid out in the contract are legal, both parties have agreed, and there has been an identifiable and provable breach in contract, only then should you consult a legal professional on how to next approach a lawsuit.