Construction defects can make a building unusable until its problems get fixed, causing you to lose money every day the building sits vacant. These defects can injure people who might try to hold you responsible for their injuries—from workers and tenants to other third parties.
When problems arise during construction, there can be delays to all subsequent phases of the build, which can lead to rushed tasks or skipped processes (defects). A defect can also result in repair costs and change orders.
The economic impacts of construction defects can ruin you financially. A Hendersonville defective construction lawyer at The Cochran Firm – Nashville may help you hold the at-fault parties responsible for your losses. You can call us today at (615) 651-7451 to get started. We do not charge for the initial consultation, and there is no obligation.
Things That Can Qualify as Defective Construction
Mistakes can happen in the design phase, the build, or both. If design flaws do not get caught in time, they can spell disaster for the project. Perfectly-followed plans can result in defective construction, too. If there are errors in both the drawings and the building stage, the finished product will have issues.
If the plans are correct, but a subcontractor or general contractor delivers work product that is below industry standards, construction defects can result. Sometimes, the design and building phases were not the problems, but a supplier provided defective materials—like pipes that drip or windows that leak.
Errors during the building phase in Hendersonville can happen when a contractor or sub-contractor:
- Cuts corners, doing 80 or 90 percent of the job well, but slacking off on the final details
- Uses materials that do not meet the quality specifications for the job (as with anything else, inferior materials will yield inferior results)
- Uses workers who lack sufficient training or skills for the work
- Fails to supervise their crew on the job to ensure that the tasks get done correctly
- Does not follow the drawings, specs, or instructions for the work
These are but a few examples of factors during the building phase that can lead to construction defects.
Sometimes it makes more sense to think of construction defects in terms of the project area. Any component of a building can fail if it has flaws in the design, materials, or build. Some systems are more prone to have construction defects including:
- Windows or doors that leak or do not fit in the space correctly
- Foundation issues, like shifting soil or collapses
- Water intruding the building from underground, via run-off, through the doors or windows, or the roof
- The plumbing, electrical, or mechanical systems do not function as intended
- The building does not provide adequate protection from the elements, like water, wind, heat, or cold
- The finishes have flaws
- The property has building code violations
Your situation might involve facts that are not on this list. Do not worry. A Hendersonville defective construction lawyer at The Cochran Firm – Nashville wants to help determine whether you might have a claim for compensation. You can call us at (615) 651-7451 for a free consultation today.
For a free legal consultation with a defective construction lawyer serving Hendersonville, call 615-678-6278
Negligence and Construction Defects
When someone causes a problem unintentionally through carelessness or an innocent mistake, it can be negligence. For example, an electrician installing circuits who did not sleep well the night before and came to work groggy could have made some wiring mistakes in several rooms.
The circuits in the completed building would blow and short out whenever the tenants try to use a typical number of office items that need electricity. Expensive electronic equipment could get destroyed, and people may even suffer electrocution burns. The damage throughout the circuit would make it necessary to pull the wiring and redo extensive sections throughout the building.
The electrical subcontractor could be responsible for the tenants’ injuries under a legal theory of negligence. The financial damage can include repairs to the electrical wiring, replacement of damaged electronic equipment, loss of use of the building, lost rental income when the building was vacant during repairs, and the tenants’ medical costs.
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When Defective Construction Is a Breach of Contract
The bank might require that parties use standard American Institute of Architects (AIA) contracts before providing construction financing. These documents often contain language that specifies what will happen if there is a problem with the project.
Whichever AIA agreements the parties use will state who is responsible for which issues. Also, the papers usually define what constitutes a breach of contract and the legal remedies if such a thing occurs. Defective construction can be a breach of contract.
Warranties That Can Apply to Defective Construction Claims
A construction project can involve express and implied warranties. An example of an express warranty is when the contractor promises to repair any significant defect discovered within the first 12 months after completion. An example of an implied warranty is the assumption that the owner will receive a finished building that will be habitable and fit for its intended purpose.
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What You Should Know About Strict Liability and Construction Defects
Some aspects of construction are so inherently dangerous that people can be liable for harm, even if they were not negligent. This concept is called strict liability. For example, some unused munitions from World War II may have gotten buried on a site more than 50 years ago, unbeknownst to any of the parties on a current construction project.
These items may not be on any local government records. When the foundation work begins, the subcontractor may use explosives to blast through bedrock and achieve the proper depth for the foundation. The explosives could set off the buried munitions, causing an unintended firestorm which may injure several workers. Because blasting is inherently dangerous, the subcontractor can be responsible for the damages under a theory of strict liability.
How a Lawyer May Help with Your Construction Defects Claim
Construction projects involve multiple parties, including subcontractors, the general contractor, the owner, and various insurance and bonding companies. When a problem arises, they will point fingers at each other and deny responsibility.
A Hendersonville defective construction lawyer at The Cochran Firm – Nashville may be able to sort out the situation and determine who is liable for the monetary damages. You only have a short time to protect your legal rights. If you wait, you could lose the right to go after compensation.
Call us today at (615) 651-7451 so that we may help you.