Can I withhold payment to a contractor to cover my deductible for damage the contractor caused? (California)

Asked over 1 year ago - San Diego, CA

I had a tree trimmer remove three trees on my property. In the process of removing one of them, they dropped a piece on my garage causing approx $2,500 in damage. My insurance company has paid to repair the damage (they wrote me a check) minus my deductible of $1000. I owe $1248 for the job, can I pay the company $248 to cover the difference?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. James Carl Eschen III

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. Actually, you could bring an action against the trimmers for the entire damage, but then you would have to turn over all but $1000 to the insurance company.

  2. Nicholas Basil Spirtos

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes. Before you withhold anything, contact the tree trimming company, explain what you are doing, and try and get them to agree. If they won't agree, then send them a letter explaining the deduction with a check for the balance. That might not stop them from suing you, but will help set up a good defense.

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