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    My Contractor didn’t Do What He said He would Do: Should I Sue?
    Posted: 2012-07-30 05:00:29


    Suppose you decide to renovate your bathroom. You think about how much you can afford and what you want done. You make a few calls to find out who might do the renovations for you and for price. You end up hiring someone. That person (or company) comes to you, does the work, gets paid and, before you know it, you don’t get what you expected.

    Many times, disputes arise when clients feel disappointed with the quality of work that their contractors provide. They try to negotiate with their contractors to do something about it. The contractors may agree to give you some refund or to fix their mistakes.

    But what if they don’t, should you sue? You may certainly feel like doing it, especially when you paid thousands of dollars for the job.

    If you are looking to recover up to $25,000 in small claims courts, you will have to think about several

    1. Do I really need to go to the court?

    Going to the court make take time and cost you some money (in court fees). Therefore, it may be wise to try and settle the dispute with your contractor. It may also be faster if your contractor agrees to cooperate. Having the judge hear your case may take some time and may not happen fast

    2. Do I have a good case?

    If you are in a situation where you cannot settle the dispute with the contractor, going to court may be necessary. But it is better to do it if you have a good chance of winning your case.

    What makes a good case? Many things can determine whether you have a good case or not. First thing to think about is whether you have enough good evidence to show that you are owed money or performance by the contractor. Have you taken pictures of the bad work? Has anyone else witnessed your situation? Did you talk to other contractors about it and get their opinion? Second, it may beneficial to show that you tried to solve your case on your own but were not successful. For example, you may show that you tried to talk to your contractor and that that wasn’t successful. Email trails, messages, etc. may be helpful. Third, the judge would want to know just how much damage was caused to you. For this, it is helpful to talk to other contractors and get their quotes of how much it would cost them to repair the bad

    3. Do I need a lawyer?

    As legal fees can be high, you may prefer to represent yourself in court. Whether you will be successful, however, really depends on the strength of your case. The stronger your case is and the more evidence you have showing that you are owed damages, the less beneficial hiring a lawyer would be. However, if you feel that your case may not be so strong, seeking a legal representation could be a good solution.

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