If you believe you have a construction defect claim, it is essential to hire an attorney who specializes in such cases. You may be surprised to know that there are many types of construction defect claims. Some defects are patent, while others are latent. In either case, your construction defect attorney can help you maximize your damages. To find the best attorney for your case, review this article. Listed below are some important factors to consider when hiring a construction defect attorney.
Latent defects are caused by poor workmanship
As the name suggests, latent defects are flaws in a construction product that are not visible to ordinary inspection. When the construction material or the design of the project is improper, latent defects may be difficult to detect until several years after the project is completed. This is the opposite of the patent defect, which can be detected through routine site inspections and basic quality testing. Latent defects can be extremely costly for the contractor, asset owner, or another interested party.
During the construction phase, a construction project may contain latent defects. These defects are often structural, and more dangerous than simple defects. Patent defects are not as difficult to detect because the construction contractor is still responsible. A snagging period is a good way to catch these defects, in which the parties agree on the defects and the contractor fixes them before the payment is finalized. Sometimes, however, latent defects may lead to structural failure.
Inherent defects, on the other hand, are those that are not immediately apparent. The construction of the product may have latent defects that do not affect its functionality. If they are present, latent defects may be difficult to detect and might not even affect the warranty of the property. A buyer may not even be aware of them on the first inspection. In addition, hidden construction defects may be grounds for a breach of contract or negligence.
Patent defects are caused by negligent design
The term patent defect is often used to refer to a faulty product or service that a seller did not disclose to a buyer. In the majority of cases, the seller is not required to disclose the patent defect to the buyer. The buyer must bring the defective product or service to the seller’s attention to pursue legal action. If the seller hides the patent defect fraudulently, the buyer may have grounds for a lawsuit.
A patent defect is an open and obvious flaw that can reasonably be discovered during a routine inspection. For instance, a homeowner could see a crack in a stucco wall while walking around the house. A layperson who doesn’t know much about construction would be able to spot this flaw. If the defect is visible to the naked eye, the owner is responsible for the defective design. It is a common misconception that the property owner is liable for a patent defect.
There are two types of patent defects. A patent defect is visible, while a latent defect is hidden or unobservable. The latter is harder to discover, but it is not impossible. While a patent defect can be easily discovered, a latent defect is only discovered after the product has been used for a long period. Even then, the owner may not notice the problem until the product is damaged.
Damages can be mitigated by prioritizing repairs
Working with a construction defect attorney to prioritize repairs is essential to maximizing the settlement amount. The process can be complex, time-consuming, and technically difficult, but most cases follow a similar methodology. Before beginning your case, it is important to understand the process and communicate your concerns to your construction defect attorney. By following these steps, you can minimize your costs and minimize any potential damage.
When calculating damages, consider the costs of repairs. The repairs may be unnecessary or disproportionate to the loss of value. If the costs are excessive or disproportionate to the loss, the damages may be too high. Also, courts are careful to avoid excessive amounts of damages, so the cost of repairs is based on the actual amount of loss to the project’s value. When damages are calculated, the court will consider the cost of the repairs, as well as the amount of money still owed to the contractor.
In addition to assessing the cost, the time disruption caused by a construction defect may be significant. For example, if the repair requires a significant amount of time, a construction defect may severely limit the ability of the property owner to sell or lease the property. In such cases, the owner may not be able to use the money resulting from the sale. If this occurs, the owner may be able to recover some of the damages, such as lost income.