No matter how hard you try to avoid them, disputes with your contractor can happen. Fortunately, there are always solutions. However, some are definitely easier than others.
If you’ve already tried to hash out the issue with your contractor in person, through email and on the phone to no avail, it’s time to move on to other options. Here are some basics you need to keep in mind as you proceed:
1. You may have already agreed to a specific form of dispute resolution.
Check your contract over carefully before you take any definitive steps toward a formal dispute process. A lot of contracts require the parties involved to try mediation or binding arbitration if they can’t resolve things on their own.
If you’re unsure of the limitations you’re under, an attorney can help you better understand the agreement — although selecting an out-of-court option is often easier and less costly than going to court.
2. You can try small claims court if your dispute is fairly small.
In Florida, you can only pursue an issue in small claims court if the amount involved in the dispute is $5,000 or less. It’s generally assumed that you’ll handle your own claim in court (without the assistance of an attorney), so this is only viable if you’re comfortable with that scenario. Keep in mind, however, you’ll also be on your own to gather whatever evidence you need to support your case.
3. Civil court may be the best option,
This is true if your dispute involves a significant amount of money or the issue is complicated. An attorney with experience handling construction litigation can help you gather the evidence you need to make a compelling case.
If you’re still unsure how you want to proceed with your issue, we will be happy to review your situation and provide guidance.