What To Know When Hiring A Contractor

Planning to build a home or remodel your existing home?

The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston come across many construction cases where the contractor either does not have a license or the license he or she carries is out of date.

 

It is important to know how to hire a contractor when starting a construction project at your home. Here are some tips to choosing a contractor:

  • Make sure he or she is currently state licensed in your area. Has the construction company paid its employees legally and carry workers’ compensation, property damage and liability insurance? You should also find out how long he or she has been in business along with a list of references you can contact.
  • Does the contractor have a work crew or do they subcontract the work? Protect yourself from a mechanics lien by asking the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers for lien releases or waivers upon each payment.
  • Ask if the contractor can supply you with a fixed start and completion date included in a formal written agreement. If you aren’t normally onsite during the project it is a good idea to check in regularly to make sure everything is coming along.
  • Ask for an itemized price estimate from each potential contractor when getting bids. Examine each carefully paying attention to those that seem too high or too low. Lower bids may mean you will get a hasty job that won’t leave you with a quality finished product. Remember, in most cases you get what you pay for.
  • Ask the contractor for a schedule of the work from start to finish. If you want regular progress reports, ask for them in writing.
  • Don’t let your payments get ahead of the work. We recommend paying 10 percent down before they start the project. If it is a stable company they won’t need a large amount of money to pay for materials or overhead.
  • If you have questions about a mechaincs lien or construction issues, contact Jonathon Preston with Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston APC.

 

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How To Avoid A Small Business Lawsuit

Don’t let your business get caught up in a lawsuit.

Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston APC has a lot of experience with assisting businesses in legal matters and would like to share some tips to avoid a lawsuit as a business owner:

small businessBe Safe – Of course accidents can happen but if you take the proper steps to avoid accidents you will be much better off. Keep areas where employees and customers walk safe and free of obstacles which can cause danger

Keep Things Documented – Creating a well drafted contract will help avoid misunderstandings and prevent lawsuits. Keep all emails, invoices, contracts and even telephone messages to resolve future problems.

Understand The Law – Make sure your business is not in violation of any property laws. Make sure no one else owns the trademark on your business name.

Protect Files – Make sure all your computer’s files are backed up. Files can also be lost and/or stolen and that can lead to legal action. Make sure they are protected.

Handbook – It is a good idea to create an employee handbook which contains all sensitive employment issues such as maternity leave, sick leave, compensation, termination, benefits, etc.

Hire A Lawyer – It is smart to have a lawyer hired for your business and to make sure you are in compliance while running your business. Call our offices for all your business needs!

How Do I Know If I Need A Lawyer?

Didn’t think you needed legal council? Well it may have saved you from a potential lawsuit!

Are you facing a significant legal matter or decision?If you are not sure if you need counsel yet, it is better to be conservative and seek a consultation from a lawyer now. Most lawyers offer a free consultation.

legal helpMost cases which have ended up in catastrophic consequences could have been avoided if legal counsel had been acquired earlier. Especially when it comes to business matters, seeking counsel is a wise idea for the following reasons:

  • Forming a new business – It is a good idea to seek counsel before you begin to form your business or file any documentation. Keep this in mind: “the sooner the better”. An experienced business attorney will counsel you on the best way to move forward with a business to protect your assets, develop and protect your trademarks and develop partner arrangements.
  • Signing an agreement – Seek the counsel of a lawyer when you are negotiating a new agreement or contract. Counsel can help you draft agreements or review agreements that are proposed by others, or come up with different or creative ways to build a transaction to better effectuate your needs or design a structure that is the best fit for all parties.
  • Purchasing or selling real estate – You will be best protected if you seek counsel before you sign a real estate purchase agreement. Once an agreement is signed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to protect your contractual rights.
  • You are being sued or thinking about suing – Early lawyer intervention can help identify your rights and they may even be able to help you avoid a lawsuit to begin with. Don’t wait hoping things may just resolve themselves. Seek out a free consultation to see what can be done to avoid any future litigation.

7 Ways To Find The Right Lawyer

Looking for a lawyer? We can help!

finding a lawyerNo matter what your situation, whether you have just received a DUI, are getting a divorce or are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, it is imperative to select the best lawyer possible.

At Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston we make sure to put our clients’ needs and wants first and make sure to fight for them. The following are some tips to finding the right lawyer for you:

  1. Find a lawyer you feel comfortable with. Many law offices offer a free initial consultation. This is a great way to determine whether or not you feel your attorney is honest and will do the best job possible for you. Go with your instincts to see whether or not you feel he or she is the right lawyer for what you need.
  2. Find an honest lawyer. During your free consultation, you will want to get the lawyers opinion on the chance of success or failure for your case. There are usually risks and downsides to almost every case; if the attorney sounds too optimistic, this may be a red flag.
  3. Find an attorney who is thorough. It is important for your lawyer to be detail oriented and responsive to your needs. Let your instincts be your guide once again. It is important for you to be able to call them throughout your case to discuss any concerns you may have.
  4. Find a lawyer who is in your price range. It is important you find an attorney whose services you can afford. Inquire about all costs at the beginning of your initial meeting. You don’t want to find out later that your lawyer is charging you for every letter and/or hearing which will only encourage the case to drag out.
  5. Find a lawyer with experience. Not only do you want a lawyer you can trust, you also want one you are confident will win your case. Make sure he has extensive experience in the area of law for which you need their services.

Please call us if you would like to inquire about finding a qualified and experienced lawyer, 951-461-2500.

When Do I Need A Lawyer?

If you are not sure if you need counsel yet, it is better to be conservative and seek a consultation from a lawyer now. Most lawyers offer a free consultation.

lawyerMost cases which have ended up in catastrophic consequences could have been avoided if legal counsel had been acquired earlier. Especially when it comes to business matters, seeking counsel is a wise idea for the following reasons:

Forming a new business – It is a good idea to seek counsel before you begin to form your business or file any documentation. Keep this in mind: “the sooner the better”. An experienced business attorney will counsel you on the best way to move forward with a business to protect your assets, develop and protect your trademarks and develop partner arrangements.

Signing an agreement – Seek the counsel of a lawyer when you are negotiating a new agreement or contract. Counsel can help you draft agreements or review agreements that are proposed by others, or come up with different or creative ways to build a transaction to better effectuate your needs or design a structure that is the best fit for all parties.

Purchasing or selling real estate – You will be best protected if you seek counsel before you sign a real estate purchase agreement. Once an agreement is signed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to protect your contractual rights.

You are being sued or thinking about suing – Early lawyer intervention can help identify your rights and they may even be able to help you avoid a lawsuit to begin with. Don’t wait hoping things may just resolve themselves. Seek out a free consultation to see what can be done to avoid any future litigation.

The Toxic Reasons For Litigation And How You Can Avoid It

Litigation and how it can be avoided.

There are usually appropriate reasons for litigation, and it is sometimes the best approach for resolving a dispute. Often if a dispute had been properly managed, litigation could have been avoided.

litigationPage, Lobo Costales and Preston would like to share some reasons litigation happens and some ways to avoid it.

Litigation can result from stubbornness. Many litigation cases arise because one party or both parties are too stubborn to compromise or even negotiate. Try to see both sides of the story and attempt to be flexible when needed.

Litigation can result from emotions. Many situations of litigation are primarily motivated by emotion and not so much reason. While the emotion can be understandable, it usually blurs a person’s fairness and hinders one’s ability to be rational in considering all the pros and cons before pursuing litigation.

Litigation can result from failure to communicate. Not making an effort to communicate frequently will cause misunderstandings between both parties. They may be encouraged to either begin litigation or allow litigation to be filed against them. Litigation may have been prevented by simply opening up better lines of communication with both parties.

Litigation can result from greed. No one likes to consider themselves greedy however the want for more than one deserves can motivate a party to initiate litigation. Greed can also cause one to refuse a reasonable settlement offer, tempting the other party to file suit. Take a step back and examine the situation. Are you asking for more than is reasonable?

Have You Been A Victim Of A Personal Injury Accident?

Involved in a personal injury accident?  Find out if you will be compensated correctly.

Did you know that legally, everyone has the right to be compensated for injuries if someone else is at fault?

construction lawsuitCompensation comes from two possible sources: the person at fault or that person’s insurance company.  If the person is at fault, it is most likely the insurance company will pay the majority of the money, if not all.

If there is no dispute about liability, the insurance company will make an offer after the injured person has received all necessary care resulting from the accident.  These would include medical care along with vehicle repair.  Once the injured party accepts the offer, the case is closed.

If the offer is not accepted, either because the liability is disputed or the injured party feels the insurance company’s offer is too low, an attorney experienced in personal injury law should see that his/her client is adequately compensated. The attorney owes no duty to the adverse party or the insurance company. The only duty owed is to the client.

When the injured party accepts payment from an insurance company, he or she signs away the rights to make a further claim relating to that accident. This is particularly troublesome to personal injury victims who accept payment, sign a release and experience symptoms later relating to the accident. An attorney, however, can demand that the insurance company pay for both current and future medical expenses.

An attorney, therefore, can be an invaluable asset during a personal injury case. For one, it is in the best interest of insurance companies to settle cases quickly and easily. Thus, they often will make an offer that under compensates the victim, hoping that the victim will take the money and sign a release, thereby closing the door on the ability to file a lawsuit. An attorney can bring some leverage over the insurance company by negotiating with the insurance adjuster and threatening to sue if the offer is not satisfactory.

Also, if an attorney is representing the injured party, the insurance company must talk only to the attorney. This can give the injured party some peace of mind, especially at a time when life is likely to be in a state of flux.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident and has not been fairly compensated, please call Page, Lobo, Costales & Preston at 951-461-2500.