Can You Sue an Unlicensed Contractor in Florida?
Can you sue an unlicensed contractor in Florida? The short answer is yes, but that does not end our inquiry. In fact, your situation could be far more complicated than that. As your lawyer, I will ask you several questions before proceeding to inform you about the ins and outs of any potential lawsuit that you may file against an unlicensed contractor. First and foremost, you cannot use the fact that you hired an unlicensed contractor as both a sword and a shield. I will ask whether you had knowledge that the “contractor” was unlicensed when you hired him/her? Many people are aware that it generally costs less to hire a contractor operating without a license, and it may be the only way your home improvement or repairs are affordable. Nevertheless, if you as the homeowner knowingly hired an unlicensed contractor, you could face significant Statutory penalties, and it could impact your lawsuit if the other side proves you hired them on purpose knowing their status as unlicensed. This is what I mean when I say you cannot use the fact that the worker is unlicensed as both a sword to attack the other side in court and a shield to protect you in court if you knew their status and hired them anyway. Breach of contract or non-formation of contract is a major legal issue.
There could also be serious implications with the quality of the workmanship. Knowing you have hired an unlicensed contractor, you likely will not take the risk of having permits pulled and the accompanying inspections that would assure the safety and quality of the work performed. This could jeopardize your safety and the structural soundness of your home. Ultimately, you will need to hire an attorney to sue an unlicensed contractor in Florida.
Hire an Attorney to Sue an Unlicensed Contractor in Florida
Back to our initial query, can you sue an unlicensed contractor in Florida? Again, I answer in the affirmative. Your chances of success are far greater if you can prove the contractor misrepresented himself through false advertisement (falsely holding oneself out to be a licensed contractor is a crime in Florida) or otherwise. There are some additional drawbacks to hiring an unlicensed contractor even if you had no knowledge of their status. Beyond poor workmanship, if any of the contractors or their workmen suffer an injury on your property in the scope of their work, you as the homeowner could be liable for their injuries. After all, unlicensed contractors are less likely to carry insurance for several fairly obvious reasons. If you need to hire an attorney to sue an unlicensed contractor in Florida, call the Jacobs Law Firm today.