Dealing with issues related to home improvement projects can be daunting, especially when disputes arise regarding contracts, workmanship, or unfulfilled promises. Our office specializes in handling select home improvement and contract cases on a contingency basis. This means you don’t pay unless we win your case. Here are some guidelines to improve your chances of securing a lawyer for your commercial case on a contingency basis.

1. Provide a Simple Explanation of Your Case

A straightforward case is easier to litigate and explain to a jury or judge. Prepare a clear and concise summary of your claim, with further details available upon request. Consider providing both a short summary and a longer, documented explanation.

2. Present Clear Evidence of Your Claim

Support your claim with solid evidence. A claim based solely on your testimony can be challenging due to potential bias. Independent verification of your claim can significantly improve your case’s credibility. This might include:

  • Photographs or videos of the defective work.
  • Copies of contracts and agreements.
  • Written communication with the contractor.
  • Expert assessments or inspections.
  • Receipts and invoices for repairs or corrective work.
3. Focus on Facts, Not Law

Leave the legal analysis to the attorney. Your role is to present the factual basis of your claim. Avoid citing other cases or large verdicts, as these may not be relevant to your situation. A lawyer appreciates clients who can assist with the claim without harboring unrealistic expectations.

4. Demonstrate Your Damages

Clearly outline how you have suffered financial losses, such as lost wages, additional repair costs, or diminished property value. Detailed and documented evidence of your financial damages is crucial. This can include:

  • Receipts for temporary accommodations if your home was uninhabitable.
  • Estimates for the cost of completing or correcting the work.
  • Evidence of any additional expenses incurred due to the contractor’s failure.
5. Be Prepared for Tough Questions

A lawyer working on contingency is paid only upon success, so they will rigorously evaluate your case. Be ready to answer tough questions and provide detailed information to ensure your claim holds up under scrutiny.

Example of a Good Summary

Here is an example of a well-prepared case summary for a home improvement claim:

Good Summary:

“I hired XYZ Home Improvement on March 1, 2023, to remodel my kitchen for $20,000. See Ex 1 (contract). The work was supposed to be completed by April 30, 2023. However, as of June 1, 2023, the work is incomplete, and numerous issues have arisen. See Ex 2 (photos of unfinished work). The contractor used substandard materials and left the job site in disarray. See Ex 3 (inspection report from Home Inspectors Inc.). I have paid $15,000 to the contractor and an additional $5,000 to another company to fix some of the issues. See Ex 4 (receipts and invoices).

Additionally, I was unable to use my kitchen from April 30, 2023, to June 1, 2023, and had to eat out, which cost me $1,500. See Ex 5 (receipts from restaurants). This contractor has had other complaints, as I found a BBB report indicating a history of poor workmanship. See Ex 6 (BBB report). I also have statements from my neighbors, John Doe and Jane Smith, who can confirm the disruption and poor quality of work. Their contact information is included as Exhibit 7.”

Why This Summary Is Effective:

  • It provides documentation that supports each statement
  • It explains how damages were calculated
  • It names witnesses and provides contact information

Example of an Inadequate Summary

Inadequate Summary:

“This is a very strong case of clear fraud where I was defrauded by XYZ Home Improvement. Almost everything they said about the remodeling was a lie. In addition, I had a lot of problems with the work, and I will send you the paperwork. When I called the contractor after waiting three days, they said THE WORK WASN’T DONE!!! I think they should be held accountable, and I want to sue them.

I spoke with my neighbor, who had similar issues with another contractor, and they agree this is an open and shut case. I have suffered a lot of damages and need to be fully compensated. I also learned the materials used are defective, and other people had problems with it, and that should be included too.”

Problems with This Summary:

  • It relies on conclusions rather than showing evidence
  • It lacks specific references to supporting documents
  • It mentions entities without clearly explaining their wrongdoing
  • It includes unnecessary references to opinions from friends or other lawyers
  • It fails to provide a detailed calculation of damages
  • It uses emotional language and lacks dates for key events

Helpful Resources:

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