Construction Defect Attorneys
Comprehensive Representation in Construction Defect Claims
Construction defect lawsuits may arise if a property owner encounters a deficiency in a completed project. A property owner may be able to sue for damages if a project fails to pass inspection due to safety issues or if they discover any other problem that negatively impacts the property’s value.
At Potts Law Firm, we represent both property owners and construction companies in disputes involving defects. Our construction defect lawyers understand how to strategically advocate for you in and out of the courtroom and have recovered over $1 billion for our clients. We are familiar with the intricate laws that apply to these cases and can walk you through your rights and options, no matter the scope or complexity of the situation.
If you discover a construction defect on your property or are accused of being responsible for a defect, schedule a free initial consultation by calling (888) 420-1299 or contacting us online today. Our firm offers same-day appointments and provides services in English and Spanish.
Types of Construction Defects
A “construction defect” refers to any problem with a finished project. A defect can range from aesthetic to minor, like peeling paint or wallpaper, to structural and crucial, like foundation issues.
Construction defects can be patent or latent. A patent defect can be reasonably discovered in the course of a routine inspection, meaning it will be detectable by an applicable professional. Latent defects are trickier, as they may not be immediately apparent and could take years before they are discovered.
Additionally, there are four major categories of construction defects:
- Design defects. Architects and engineers are responsible for designing safe, stable buildings and their internal systems that adhere to all pertinent building codes. A construction company can perfectly execute a designed project, but if the design itself is defective, other problems, such as code violations, utility issues, and even structural concerns, may result. In these instances, the architect and/or engineer who produced the defective design tends to be legally responsible for any resulting consequences, not the construction company.
- Material defects. Construction companies must work with suppliers to ensure that all materials used in a project are up to code and appropriate for the building’s design. The use of substandard materials, which can be the result of error, fraud, or a cost-cutting measure, can result in significant problems down the road. The supplier may be responsible for these issues if they knowingly provided the inferior materials, or a construction company could be liable if they intentionally ordered and used the substandard materials.
- Workmanship defects. Construction companies must provide an acceptable standard of work. Poor workmanship can result in critical mistakes or other issues with construction quality.
- Subsurface defects. Some areas are known for their extensive hills and shifting soil, and construction companies (as well as architects and engineers) must sufficiently account for these factors when designing and constructing a building’s foundation. Failing to do so can result in an unstable foundation, slope or shoring problems, and other significant safety issues.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether an issue you are having with a home or building is a routine maintenance issue or a serious defect. Our construction defect attorneys can assess the circumstances and advise whether you may have a claim.
How Construction Defect Claims Work
When a property owner becomes aware of a construction defect, they may be able to take legal and seek damages. This will sometimes involve filing a lawsuit against the architect, engineer, supplier, or construction company that is responsible for the defect.
First, a property owner should review all contracts related to the construction. Many construction companies offer warranties that guarantee a certain level of quality for a set amount of time. If you are within the warranty period, you may be able to work directly with the construction company to resolve the issue. If they refuse to adequately address a defect covered by a warranty, you may be able to sue for breach of warranty.
If a warranty period does not apply, you should still evaluate the contract for any language regarding the quality of the construction. If the finished property’s construction does not meet these contractual standards, you may be able to sue for breach of contract. Keep in mind that in either scenario, you may be subject to an arbitration clause that will force you to explore alternative forms of dispute resolution before you can take the matter to court.
You may be able to file a construction defect claim on the basis of negligence. The architects, engineers, suppliers, and construction companies who contributed to the project all owed you a duty of care to provide a finished product free of defects. If they failed to deliver a defect-free project due to negligence and you suffered damages as a result, you likely have a claim.
Some states also allow you to potentially file a claim on the basis of strict liability. In these cases, whether a construction company was negligent does not matter: They are liable for any defects that exist as a result of their work, even if they acted to the best of their ability. This strategy is not always available, however, and many states restrict who can be held accountable under this standard.
Prevailing in a construction defect claim allows you to recover damages resulting from the problem, including the money you need to fix the issue, legal fees, and costs for temporary housing. Our construction defect lawyers can help you explore your options and help you understand what types of compensation you can expect to recover. If you are an architect, engineer, supplier, or construction company that has been named as a defendant in a construction defect claim, we are also prepared to represent you in litigation and can review your defense options.
Do not wait to reach out to Potts Law Firm when you learn about a construction defect. We can provide the responsive, powerful advocacy you need to prevail in these high-stakes disputes. Call (888) 420-1299 or contact us online today.
The amount of time you will have to take legal action for a construction defect will depend on your state. Each state has its own statute of limitations for these cases, and the clock generally starts ticking when you discover (or reasonably should have discovered) the defect. This dynamic generally gives you more time to sue for latent defects, which by definition are discovered long after a project has been completed, but some states also enforce “statutes of repose.” This means you cannot bring a construction claim after a certain amount of time has passed since the project’s completion, regardless of when you discover or should have discovered the defect.
If you are unsure if you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your claim and fight for you.
“They were able to complete it in a timely manner and were great at keeping me up to date with communication throughout the entire process. I highly recommend using this law firm if the need arises.”- Stephen P.
“Michael Bins has been extremely helpful in helping us to navigate a situation with an insurance claim on a commercial property. He’s gone above and beyond in moving our case toward a positive resolution that we’re satisfied with.”- Theo C.
“They know the law from every angle, dig deep, and will not accept anything less than what was asked in the original suit. The Potts team never backed down until the case was settled in full.”- Molly H.