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Construction Defects and Construction Negligence

construction defect

Construction defect claims are made against developers, contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals on a case-by-case basis. These laws are complex and vary from state to state, and defects can cause damages that can vary in value from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. When construction defects cause havoc, it’s important to work with a qualified construction defect lawyer for your case.

At Reich & Binstock in Houston, we represent residential and commercial property owners who have suffered damages in Texas or anywhere throughout the U.S. Our attorneys are well-versed in construction laws, and we collaborate with a vast network of industry experts to build substantial cases and manage both individual lawsuits and class-action litigation against defendants who develop properties throughout the country.

Top Construction Defect and Design Defect Claims Attorneys

At Reich & Binstock, our Houston personal injury attorneys handle a number of different types of construction litigation. This includes not only construction defect litigation, but also Houston construction accident cases. If you or someone you know suffered losses or injuries due to defective construction, you need the help of our construction defect attorneys.

Construction defects can happen anywhere, including in a residential property, business structure, commercial building, and more. It’s important for architects, contractors, and other construction professionals to be in compliance with all building codes. Otherwise, they could put dozens of lives at risk of injury or financial loss. To schedule a free consultation with our Houston law firm, please call our office at 713-622-7271 today. You can also fill out our online intake form.

What Is a Construction Defect?

Construction defects are a group of issues in the building or construction of a structure. They can be very minor and cause no problems, or they could result in catastrophic failure of the whole structure. They can also reduce the value of properties for their owners, making it more difficult to sell them. There are many types of construction defects, including inadequate structural support, poor quality workmanship, structural failures, poor drainage, moisture intrusion, water intrusion, and much more. Below, we outline some of the most common types of construction defects types.

Types of Construction Defects

There are many specific types of construction defects. However, most of them can be classified into one of the following categories. 

Engineers and architects are responsible for designing buildings and the systems within them. Unfortunately, even the most experienced professionals can make grave mistakes. This leads to a construction defect. A design defect generally involves building something outside the building codes. One common example is poor roofing design. A poorly-designed roof can lead to water penetration, water intrusion, poor drainage, and much more.

Using inferior products when choosing building materials can lead to construction defect cases. Low quality or damaged building materials often result in leaking windows, cracks in the concrete, or complete failure of the materials. This can happen even when they are properly installed.

Sometimes, it isn’t the fault of the construction company or workers when materials fail. Manufacturing issues sometimes occur that compromise the integrity of the materials. If this happens, the manufacturer of the materials could be held responsible for related losses.

If poor workmanship is an issue at a job site, this could lead to lapses in the structural integrity of a building. Sometimes, a contractor might cover up an issue they know is present. Examples of issues resulting from poor workmanship include lumber dry rot, foundation cracking, electrical issues, and leaky plumbing.

The construction field in areas of shifting soil requires specialized knowledge of how to build a stable foundation. If a contractor cannot produce a stable foundation for a home, this could lead to significant damage over time. A contractor is responsible for ensuring that the subsurface conditions are appropriate for laying a foundation. If they fail to do so, they may face construction defect disputes.

Can I Sue for Construction Defects or Design Defects?

Absolutely. Construction defect litigation is generally based on one of five legal claims. The five claims are negligence, breach of contract, breach of warranty, strict liability, and fraud. Once you determine who is responsible for the defects, you can pursue compensation. We recommend having a legal professional review your case. They will be able to apply all relevant and current laws to your case in order to hold responsible parties accountable.

What Is Construction Negligence?

This is a broad term that encompasses anything that may result in construction defects or danger to employees or bystanders. It occurs when the construction process does not follow established construction law or building codes. When a person engages in this form of negligence, a court could find them liable for injuries or damages to the building.

Examples of Construction Negligence

  • Accidents with equipment or machinery
  • Failing to obtain a permit before construction
  • Not following established standards or building codes
  • Giving bad information about a property to the owner
  • Building defective foundations
  • Reckless actions or behaviors on the job site
  • Cutting costs and time at the expense of quality

How Do Courts Establish Construction Negligence?

Construction disputes, due to their expensive nature, may find their way into court. But how exactly does a court establish this form of negligence? Essentially, you and your construction defect attorneys must prove the following four elements.

  • Contractors and builders have a certain duty of care to the owner of the home or business to be built. When a client hires someone, that person has a certain standard of care to adhere to when building for the client. In other words, they must adhere to all parts of construction law and building codes.
  • They breached that duty of care. Work with a law firm to show that the person you hired did not meet the terms of your contract. 
  • You must then prove that their negligence or carelessness resulted in actual injuries, losses, or damages. Maybe someone was hurt as a result of the poor construction, or maybe your property was damaged. Show that their actions actually caused injury to you in some way.
  • Lastly, you must show that your home or business was actually damaged by their negligence.

Statute of Limitations for Construction Defect Claims

It’s important to understand how long you have to file a claim against the construction company you hired. Laws usually vary from state to state, as with other personal injury cases. The statute of limitations is the amount of time someone has to file a lawsuit. The statute of repose explains the outer limits of the window someone has to file a lawsuit. In other words, you cannot sue at all once this time period passes.

Lastly, the right to cure explains that you must notify the crew in charge of the construction of the defect before filing a lawsuit. Once you notify them, they will either repair the damage, or you can proceed with a lawsuit after a certain amount of time. 

Below, we list the applicable time limits for Texas.

  • Statute of Limitations: 4 years for contract claims and 2 years for tort claims
  • Statute of Repose: 10 years after substantial completion, with a 2-year extension if an injury occurs in the 10th year
  • Right to Cure: Residents must notify construction professionals at least 60 days before filing a lawsuit. They must also allow the professionals to inspect the property and offer to repair the damage.

How Can a Lawyer Help in Your Construction Negligence Case?

Lawyers are extremely helpful in construction defect cases. In fact, it is almost a necessity in more complex cases. At Reich & Binstock, one of the practice areas we have extensive experience in is construction litigation for both individual cases and tort claims. With the help of our legal team, you’ll receive the following benefits.

  • Assessment of the damages from a legal standpoint
  • Working alongside qualified construction professionals to evaluate whether or not negligence occurred
  • Applications of local and state laws to the facts of your case
  • Finding and hiring expert witnesses to prove negligence

Types Of Property Damage Claims

Property damage claims resulting from construction defects that our attorneys evaluate and handle include:

  • Storm damage claims
  • Water damage claims
  • Drainage and design defects
  • Roofing installation defects
  • Window installation defects
  • Door installation defects
  • Electrical system installation defects
  • Plumbing system installation defects
  • Concrete and asphalt installation defects
  • Foundation and floor defects

Each of our lawyers is trial-tested and a skilled negotiator. We will prepare for trial the day we file your claim, but we will work aggressively to settle your claim without the need for protracted litigation.

If you have suffered damages due to a suspected construction defect, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney before making statements to the defendant or any insurance adjuster. Our team will handle all communications with these parties and all legal aspects of your claim.

Maximizing the value of your claim and getting life back to normal requires the efficient and effective legal work of seasoned construction defect attorneys who only have your best possible outcome as their goal.

Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Consultation With a Lawyer at Reich & Binstock

Being injured on the job is devastating, particularly when that injury is permanent and life-altering. If you or your loved one has been hurt on the job, contact one of the experienced Houston attorneys at Reich & Binstock today. With over 30 years of experience, we are here to help you. Call us at 713-622-7271 or 800-622-7271 toll-free or complete our confidential online form for a free case evaluation. We handle all upfront costs of litigation in all construction defect claims, and our firm only gets paid if you secure a financial recovery on your claim. We work on a contingency fee basis.

Contact Us For a Free Legal Consultation

There is never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.
Additionally, clients are not obligated to pay expenses if a recovery is not made.

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