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New York Construction Law Blog

Remedies for unpaid contractors: What should you ask a lawyer?

Posted by Karl Silverberg | May 02, 2023 | 0 Comments

Contracting and construction companies are always at risk of not receiving full payment for services rendered. Some people think nothing will happen to them if they refuse to pay. At other times, clients might be unable to pay but you still deserve your money.

The first solution most consider is filing a lawsuit against the non-paying parties. You have the right to seek a remedy under New York law, but first, make sure you understand your options. Speaking with a legal representative in a question-and-answer session often helps contractors determine the ideal way to proceed.

Do I have cause to file a lawsuit?

Automatically assuming you will win against the other parties is typically a mistake. Instead, ask your counsel to review your contracts to ensure they contain no terms that might bar you from suing immediately. Since not paying for agreed-upon services is a breach of contract, you probably have sufficient cause to sue.

What are my chances of success?

Your legal representative no more wants to waste time than you do and is likely to be candid about the possible outcome of construction litigation. Request an honest assessment of your circumstances to ensure a lawsuit has good odds of ending favorably.

Are there other ways to resolve the matter?

A lawsuit should not always be the first remedy contractors look to for satisfaction. In the first place, lawsuits are costly and time-consuming. Secondly, you might not need to go so far as starting the litigation process to improve your circumstances.

Often a polite but firm letter from your legal representative's office can encourage resolution. In other cases, your counsel can work with you to determine if construction arbitration or mediation will meet your needs. 

About the Author

Karl Silverberg

Karl Silverberg Contact Me: (631) 778-6077 Email me Practice Areas: Construction Law Biography Prior to law school, Mr. Silverberg worked as a professional engineer, and has eight years of experience working as a structural engineer on public sector transportation projects. Mr. Silver...


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