When you pay to have a home built or construction completed, it’s vital for the people performing the work to ensure they are doing so safely and legally. Construction defects are problems that affect a home or property and reduce its value. Some construction defects appear under certain conditions while others manifest slowly over time. If you believe your home or property has a construction defect, our Billings construction defects attorney can help you hold the responsible party accountable for any damages caused by the defect.
Common Causes of Construction Defects
Homebuilding and construction, in general, are meticulously regulated industries. The people responsible for the building’s design and construction must take every precaution to ensure the building is safe for use and occupation. Some of the most common causes of construction defects include:
- Improper or inadequate ground testing. Before a new building may be built, the builders must arrange for soil analysis to ensure it is safe to build. Additionally, the ground on the building site must be fully prepared for construction. Poorly packed or prepared soil can lead to a sinkhole or other issues.
- Poor site selection. Some geographical areas are only viable for building under certain weather conditions. For example, a field sitting below a flood plain may be beautiful during the dry season and seem ideal for building a home. However, during the rainy season, the field floods, making it unsuitable for building. Builders must carefully select their building sites and ensure they are viable in the long run.
- Engineering issues. Some buildings require unique architectural or structural engineering methods. Failing to use the appropriate technique or materials for a given project can lead to instability.
- Negligent construction. Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and construction workers are also held to a higher standard of duty when it comes to performing their work reasonably and safely. Negligence during the construction process can lead to serious injuries as well as to construction defects that may go unnoticed for quite some time.
- Defective materials. Builders must ensure they use high-quality building materials that can withstand the test of time. If a homebuilder knowingly uses low-cost, unreliable building materials, they are putting the property owner and future occupants at serious risk.
If you believe you have suffered an injury or damage due to a construction defect, determine what sort of defect you’re handling. In the legal world, construction defects are either “patent” or “latent.” A patent construction defect is one that is readily obvious, even to untrained eyes. A latent defect is hidden or does not observably manifest for some time after the construction is finished.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit and Collecting Damages
Every construction defect case will be different, and the possible compensation will vary for every plaintiff. An experienced attorney will help review the details of your situation and determine your losses. Generally, you could reasonably expect compensation for:
- Medical expenses for any injuries caused by the construction defect.
- Pain and suffering for traumatic or painful injuries.
- Lost income from time spent away from work due to the construction defect.
- Property damage caused by the construction defect. This could include covering the cost of repairs and compensation for the lost value of your property.
- Other expenses, such as hotel costs if you must vacate your home due to a construction defect.
- Punitive damages. Judges sometimes award extra compensation to punish grossly negligent or intentionally reckless defendants. Most states have limits on how much you may receive in punitive damages.
Ultimately, one of your best assets in any construction defect lawsuit will be a qualified, experienced attorney. The team at Ragain & Cook P.C. is fully committed to helping our clients maximize their recovery after suffering damages. Let us know if you have any questions about a construction defect, or if you wish to schedule a consultation.