What Do Housing and Construction Defects Lawyers Do?
Some housing and construction defects lawyers work with builders and contractors, defending them against claims and lawsuits. Most, though, work with consumers. Their clients have discovered defects in their homes and suffered damages as a result.
Housing and construction defects lawyers can negotiate settlements, help settle contract disputes, and litigate to help clients recover damages from negligent builders, developers, and other construction professionals.
When Do I Need a Lawyer for House Defect?
If you have a dispute with a contractor or builder or have discovered a problem with your home’s construction, you may need a lawyer to represent your interests. You may be able to sue for the resulting damages if you can prove negligence. Consider hiring a lawyer if you find any defect that costs you money or results in an accident or injury to someone in the home.
How Does a Housing and Construction Defects Lawyer Prove Negligence?
A lawyer with expertise in housing and construction can look at your situation and determine if someone was negligent. This could be an architect or engineer, a contractor, a builder or developer, or any subcontractors who worked on your home.
All of these professionals have a responsibility to carry out their work up to an acceptable standard. If they do not, you can collect the resulting damages. To prove negligence, your lawyer must show several things:
- That the professional responsible did the work on your home
- That they breached the standard expected in their profession
- That the breach resulted in a defect in your home
- And that the defect cost you significant damages
Should I Contact a Lawyer if I Find a Defect Years Later?
Yes, you should contact a lawyer, no matter how much time has passed. Each state has its own statute of limitations that sets a time limit on when you can sue someone. You may still be in that window, and even if you are not, there could be a workaround.
Some states have a discovery rule for latent defects, those issues that only become obvious later. For instance, a poorly constructed foundation for a home may not show cracks for several years. The statute of limitations may not begin until you discover the issue. A lawyer specializing in construction defects can explain the laws in your state and determine if you can still file suit or if it’s too late.
Benefits of Working with a Housing and Construction Defects Lawyers
You may be tempted to simply let the defect go, to make the repair, and not deal with the hassle of a lawsuit. Or, you may choose to talk to the builder and try to settle the dispute without representation. It’s worth at least talking to a housing and construction defect lawyer before making that decision. Working with the right lawyer has several benefits:
- They provide experts
Chance are you’re not a construction expert. You may think someone made a mistake or was careless in constructing your home, but how can you know for sure? A construction defects lawyer will have the necessary contacts with experts to investigate your situation and determine negligence.
- Recoup the costs
The biggest reason to take legal action after discovering a construction defect is to recover damages. A mistake in the building of a home can be costly. Depending on the issue, it may be tens of thousands of dollars. A lawyer will help you get those costs back.
- Restore value
It’s not just the immediate costs of the defect that matter. With a defect in your home, you also lose property value. With a lawyer helping you take legal action, you can get the money to get it fixed and restore the value to your home.
- Settle without a lawsuit
Hiring a lawyer does not always mean suing. You may want to try negotiating with the negligent party first. For this to be successful, you need an experienced lawyer to represent you. A settlement means you can avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit.
How to Find a Housing and Construction Defects Lawyer
If you have an issue with the construction of your home, choose a lawyer carefully. It would be best if you had someone with experience handling negligence lawsuits but also with expertise in construction and building. They should have a network of construction experts.
You should be able to find a firm or attorney advertising that they handle these cases but ask for evidence. You need to see that they have handled cases like yours, that they helped clients in similar situations, and that they have years of experience in construction law.
Working with Your Lawyer for the Best Outcome
When you hire a housing and construction defects lawyer, you’re getting an expert and advocate, but you play a role in the process as well. Ask a lot of questions, so there will be no surprises, and you’ll both be on the same page. Ask about the process, what you can expect, damages you may be able to recover, possible timelines, and fees.
Be sure to share all the information you have with your lawyer. They’ll need access to your home to investigate the defect, any evidence you have of damage and costs, bills and receipts, contracts with builders, and any communications you had with the builder or developer.
Working with a housing and construction defects lawyer will help you get a sense of justice as well as damages. You put your trust in professionals to construct a safe and functional home. When they fail to provide a good service, you can take legal action.