Architects, engineers, or contractors may be liable for personal injuries caused by construction defects. Most construction defects occur during either the design phase or the building process. An architect or an engineer may be held responsible for a design defect, while the contractor will generally incur the costs of a defect caused by failure to follow design specifications during the construction process.
Construction Defects Can Be Costly
Construction defects can cause serious problems such as costly repairs and, in worse cases, personal injuries. Individuals who are injured in accidents caused by construction defects can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation. Some incurred injuries could be severe, leading to lost wages, high medical bills, pain, suffering, and even death. This could mean a complete change of lifestyle for victims and their families – hence the need to hold those who are responsible accountable for their actions and mistakes.
Common Construction Defects
When a home is new, it may be hard to detect a defect, and it could take up to several years for it to become evident. Many take between three and five years to become apparent, while others, such as soil defects and plumbing issues, could take up to between six and ten years. Some of the most common construction defects include:
- Water intrusion
- Defective stucco
- Cracked slabs or foundation
- Defective soil conditions
- Plumbing and electric issues
Victims of Defective Construction
Defective construction poses a danger to occupants, pedestrians, or even unsuspecting bystanders. On-site construction workers could also be victims of defective designs.
However, should an individual get an injury based on such a building, the law provides the ideal grounds to recover compensation. One can file a personal injury lawsuit. After a related accident, victims are expected to seek medical help, after which they can engage the available legal entities to push for compensation. An experienced attorney will evaluate a case, file the claim on a victim’s behalf, negotiate a fair settlement, and in extreme cases, provide representation in court should the claim or personal injury case land there.
The Key Issues in Defective Construction Case
Some of the questions that could guide claimants who are pursuing compensation for injuries in a construction defect case include:
- What is one expected to prove in the case?
- What are the legal issues attached to the case?
- How will liability be determined in the case?
In most construction defects-related cases, contracts are key. Before the construction of a building, the owner may sign a contract with the engineers, architects, and contractors. Moreover, engineers, architects, and contractors may also have contacts between themselves. These contacts stipulate each party’s responsibilities and the liability provisions, among other important issues. The construction contracts hold these parties responsible for defects that could occur and any issues that might result from such defects.
Moreover, to recover compensation for injuries, the victim of a defective construction-related injury should prove the following to the presiding party:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim
- The defendant did not act with the expected care owed to the victim.
- The victim sustained the injury as a result of the defendant’s negligence
An experienced attorney will scrutinize construction contracts to help identify who may be liable for injuries. In some cases, more than one party may be able to be held liable.