“You overcharged me! I am going to sue your sorry a**.” Another version is, “I bought your house 17 years ago and now the roof is leaking. I am going to sue you for everything you’ve got!”

That’s going to happen. I’m repeatedly on the receiving end of news of yet another lawsuit filed by a building owner against one of your fellow contractors. It doesn’t matter how much you try to build a good product, provide quality service, and be there when you are needed. Our litigious society cares little about the harm they cause the other guy when they decide they have been wronged. Too many aren’t even willing to talk to their contractor before filing suit – the first notice of a problem is when the lawsuit is received.

How do you deal with it?

At the hint of a lawsuit, bring in an attorney who specializes in construction law. Construction law is a field all by itself and takes special knowledge to navigate through. Don’t take a chance with someone who is your best friend, or has handled a personal item, or your neighbor recommends. Find a specialist; let them do their job.

Remember that as a contractor, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent in too many courtrooms. That’s not the law, but the perception is that the business owner is the bad guy, picking on the poor helpless consumer. Don’t stack the deck higher against you by hiring an attorney that doesn’t know or understand the nuances of our business. If you have questions, give me a call.

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