Compensation for Builder Mistakes
Compensation for Builder Mistakes
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Compensation for Builder Mistakes
You have finally moved into your dream home. Understandably, you are excited. You cannot wait to start your new journey. But then, shortly after the big move, something does not seem right. The doors do not appear properly aligned. The patio looks out of place. Or maybe, rainwater drips from the roof to your furniture.
If that is what you are dealing with, you may be entitled to compensation for builder mistakes. This page answers some of the most frequently asked questions about builder mistakes, including what to do if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
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What Builder Mistakes Can I Sue For?
Technically, you can sue for any condition that diminishes the property's value. However, most builder mistakes fall under the following categories:
A poorly designed property can cause different challenges, leading to frustration. For example, you may not be able to park your car inside the garage because of the defective design.
You expect the contractors to act professionally when constructing a residential or commercial property. But unfortunately, some builders cut corners to save costs and time. This could lead to life-threatening hazards and a sharp drop in property value.
Poor-quality materials are dangerous when used in construction. But some contractors are more concerned about cutting costs than quality and safety.
A property with structural failures can be expensive to maintain. However, the expenses aside, such a property poses a significant risk to its occupants. For instance, a building with an improper foundation has a higher risk of collapsing.
Certain factors come into play when planning a construction project. For example, issues such as nearby water sources, the risk of soil erosion, landslides, etc., can make a home impossible to live in.
What Damages Can I Recover From a Builder Mistake Lawsuit?
When you hire a contractor, you expect them to conduct themselves professionally in whatever they do. Specifically, they should ensure that whatever they construct is safe and in good condition. However, that is not always the case.
If you have a valid builder mistakes claim, you can recover damages. Examples of damages in such cases include:
Loss of Property Value
No one wants to live in an unsafe or poorly designed property. For this reason, such a property will automatically lose its value. In addition, if the mistakes can be corrected, the potential buyer will need to invest huge sums of money into the project. So when a property loses its value because of someone else's negligence, you can recover compensation for the loss of property value.
Loss of Use
If a construction defect prevents you from using the property, you can sue for loss of use. This is quite common in cases where property owners must vacate the property to pave the way for repairs. An experienced attorney can help you recover compensation for loss of use.
Very few people would want to buy or even lease a property with such defects. For this reason, the property owner can sue for impaired marketability. This claim alleges that the property would have been sold for a higher price had it not been for the defendant's negligence.
It is expensive to repair a property with such defects. The property owner can include the repair costs in the lawsuit against the at-fault party.
The plaintiff can also recover attorney fees when they file a construction defect lawsuit. This is because the property owner would not need an attorney to file such a claim in the first place had it not been for the other party's negligence.
What Should I Do if I Notice Builder Mistakes After Buying a House?
Granted, the defendant will try to find any excuse to avoid liability. For this reason, the steps you take after noticing the mistake could make or break your claim. Here are some quick tips to guide you:
Document the Mistake
This is particularly important if the mistake damages your personal property. For example, suppose a poorly-designed roof leaks rainwater into your living room, damaging your personal property. In that case, ensure you take pictures and videos of the impact of the construction defect.
Seek Medical Attention
This step applies if the construction defect injures you or your loved one. For instance, a poorly designed door could swing in the wrong direction, injuring a toddler. If so, ensure you prioritize your health and that of your loved ones over anything else.
Contact an Attorney
Get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will review your case to determine whether your claim is valid. And if you have a valid claim, they will guide you on how to proceed.
What Are the Legal Grounds for Filing Such a Lawsuit?
Mistakes happen all the time. However, in the construction industry, such mistakes can be costly and life-threatening.
The following are valid reasons for filing a builder mistake claim:
You can use the contractor if they fail to maintain the same standards of care any reasonable contractor in a similar situation would. When you hire a contractor to handle a particular project, you expect them to be professional. As mentioned earlier, some contractors are not careful enough. Some would want to complete a project quickly and proceed to the next. Others are simply negligent and do not care about what they do.
So if you can prove that the contractor was negligent, causing the defect, you may have a valid claim.
Under strict liability laws, you do not need to prove negligence. Instead, you simply need to prove that a mistake existed in the property. Then, you will need to establish the connection between the contractor and the error.
Specifically, you need to prove that:
- The contractor was primarily involved in the construction process
- A construction defect in the property exists
- The contractor was responsible for the construction defect
- You or your loved one suffered injury or damage due to the defect
Strict liability laws allow plaintiffs to recover damages even when they cannot prove negligence. This law argues that it would be difficult for the plaintiff to prove negligence, especially if they lack experience or knowledge of that field.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing Builder Mistake Lawsuit?
Because some construction defects take time to show, most states have a longer statute of limitations for filing such claims. For instance, Florida residents can bring a lawsuit within four years. In Texas, plaintiffs have 12 years to file such a lawsuit.
Contact an experienced construction defect lawyer to determine the deadline for filing a lawsuit against the other party. Because these deadlines vary from state to state, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
Who Should I Sue for Builder Mistakes?
Most builder mistakes lawsuits target the main contractor in charge of the project. But you can bring a lawsuit against a subcontractor under certain circumstances.
This is because the main contractor subcontracts various portions of the project to subcontractors in most construction projects. For instance, suppose a roof collapses because the roofing subcontractor was negligent. In that case, you can bring a lawsuit against the subcontractor.
In the case of a defective design, you can sue the architect. A good example is when you fall off a flight of stairs you didn't know existed in the first place.
A project engineer can also be held responsible for builder mistakes. This is especially true if the project had errors a competent engineer should have noticed.
What Are Affirmative Defenses to a Builder Mistake Lawsuit?
When you file a builder mistake lawsuit, the other party will likely dispute your claim. If they succeed, they might win the case or share the blame with the plaintiff. Here are some common affirmative defenses to such a lawsuit.
- Negligence or abuse
- Regular wear and tear
- Bad weather conditions
- The statute of limitations has expired
An experienced attorney can help fight back against such defenses and ensure you receive compensation for builder mistakes.
Can I Sue if I Get Injured Due to a Construction Defect?
Yes, you may be able to sue if you get injured due to a construction defect. However, remember that you bear the burden of proof when you bring a lawsuit against the other party. This means that you are responsible for proving liability. In addition, you are responsible for establishing that you deserve compensation.
To sum up, you will need to prove:
- that a different contractor under similar circumstances would not have made the same mistakes as the defendant;
- the builder's mistake caused you or your loved one injuries; and
- you suffered damages due to the builder's mistake.
Where Can I Find a Competent Builder Mistake Attorney?
Morgan & Morgan is the best injury law firm to contact when you want to file a builder mistake lawsuit. Although there are many injury firms across the country, Morgan & Morgan stand out. Here is why:
Contractors usually have insurance to protect them from such lawsuits. Therefore, when you file a lawsuit, you will likely deal with big and established insurance companies. These companies make billions of dollars yearly and can afford competent defense attorneys.
For this reason, you need an injury firm that can match and surpass the defendant's legal muscle. That is where Morgan & Morgan comes in.
We are the nation's largest injury firm, serving clients from coast to coast. Our attorneys have access to powerful resources to take on the big bullies in the industry. So if the defendant thinks they will intimidate you into accepting a lowball offer or giving up your claim, they will not succeed.
Morgan & Morgan has been fighting for the rights of the injured since 1988. As a result, we have gained immense experience in different cases. This includes cases where contractors fail to act professionally, causing injuries and damages to plaintiffs.
Over the past three decades, we have helped our clients recover more than $13 billion as compensation for various injuries. Because we are used to winning huge settlements, our attorneys do not settle for lowball offers.
Keep in mind that construction defect cases are costly. And if the construction project is irreparable, sometimes destroying the property may be the only reasonable option.
This can be heartbreaking. And if you do not have insurance to protect you from such cases, you may never recover financially. Even if you have insurance, you should not expect the insurance company to approve your claim without a fight.
Get Your Builder Mistake Claim Reviewed by the Largest Injury Firm in the United States
The bottom line is that builder mistakes are expensive and frustrating. The last thing you want is to deal with a contractor without an attorney's guidance. A Morgan & Morgan builder mistake lawyer can help build a strong case for you by involving experts from various fields to investigate every defect. We will also assess the damages you have suffered and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact us to learn more about receiving compensation for builder mistakes.