When you assign a developer to build your home, they are responsible for building a strong, safe house that meets all local and state regulations dealing with the safety of a property. If the developer makes a mistake and your home is damaged as a consequence, you have the full right to receive compensation for such damages by initiating a construction defect litigation.
Causes Of A Construction Defect
Construction defects can be the result of various factors. Primarily, it is caused due to the negligence of employees tasked with constructing the property or because of the use of substandard construction materials. For example, if the soil analysis team makes an incorrect judgment of the quality of soil at a particular spot, and the buildings constructed at the site collapses due to it, then that will be considered negligence from the part of employees. Similarly, a building can also break down due to the use of low-quality construction materials like cement, steel, etc. Either way, the developer will be responsible for the damage. Some of the common construction defects that lead to litigation include structural failure, a problem with landscaping, foundation problems, drainage issues, electrical problems, and so on.
You are eligible to get compensation for various types of damages –
Since your property is damaged, it will need to be repaired. And you can recover the entire cost of repairs from the developer.
The damage to the property will also lower its value, which can also be recovered as compensation. For example, if your home is valued at $100,000, and the damage is estimated to lower the value to $80,000, then you can recover $20,000 from the developer as ‘loss of property value’.
You may also get injured from the damage. In such cases, you can receive compensation from the developer for the injuries you have suffered. Hire Orange County’s best personal injury lawyer, and you will be able to claim compensation for medical bills, pain from injuries, mental agony, loss of income, and so on.
Finally, any damage to a property can also involve additional expenses. For example, you may have to live in a hotel for a few days until the house can be repaired and made livable. You will also have to spend money on lawyer’s fees, court costs etc. All such expenses can also be recovered from the accused.
Proving Construction Defect
Construction defects are generally proven by showing either patent or latent faults. Defects which are obvious and was always a threat right from the time of the construction is known as a patent defect. In contrast, defects which are usually hidden during construction and only become a threat later are known as latent defects. In order to prove construction defects, your
lawyer will arrange for the testimony of well-known experts in the field of construction. Any negative statements made by such experts will be seen as incriminating the developer for construction defects. Now, if you plan to sell off the property while the case is still in court, you have the full rights to do so. However, local laws will generally mandate that you disclose this fact to the potential buyer. Otherwise, you will likely end up in legal trouble.
Responsibility For Compensation
All developers will be insured during the construction process. And they might use multiple insurance companies during the different stages of construction. The responsibility to compensate you will squarely fall on the shoulders of the insurance company which was providing coverage at the time the defect was discovered. In addition, the developer may also be liable to pay compensation out of their own pockets depending on their agreement with the insurance company.
When you discover the defect, you are expected to notify the developer of the damage. If the developer repairs the damage in full and provides a fair compensation to you, then the matter will be considered as settled. However, if the developer does not respond after a reasonable time period, you can hire a lawyer and approach the court for compensation. In addition, you will also have to take into account the Statute of Limitations applicable in your state. Generally, it is around two or three years. This means that you are responsible to file a claim against the developer within two or three years of discovering the construction defect. If the time period is over, you will lose the opportunity to recover compensation. Be sure to talk with your lawyer and check out the Statute Of Limitations currently applicable in your region.