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  • Construction Defects: Legal Liability 101

    Jun 22, 2018
    Construction Defects
    Construction Defects: Legal Liability 101
    in Property Damage, California Real Estate, JT Legal Group Blog

    Construction Defects: Legal Liability 101

    When it comes to a new project in your home, everything must go perfectly.
    So, what should you do if things become complicated or fail? We can help: (888) 529-3111

    A construction project involves a number of different entities working together to complete the project. During the process, contracts are established to secure all affiliates between the homeowner, developer, contractor and subcontractor. In addition, subcontractors may have further contracts with their suppliers, engineers, architects and more. While the list of allied contracts can go on, the intention is to protect against any type of construction defect that may occur. In the event something goes wrong, it will take an experienced construction property damage attorney to properly defend the rights of the victim. This is especially true if the victim had experienced any type of personal injury that was due to the negligence or lack of care from the construction company.

    Examples of Construction Defects

    There are a wide range of construction defects for any type of project. Below are a few common scenarios of such defects:

    1. • Negligent construction
    2. • Improper or defective building materials
    3. • Electrical issues
    4. • Mold; and/or
    5. • Faulty plumbing

    Responsible Party

    When a construction defect is discovered, such lack of proper construction could be based on allegations of negligence, lack of care, a breach of contract, a breach of warranty, or other various reasons. In addition, there are also cases where fraud and negligent misrepresentation have taken place on a construction project. In order to determine the responsible party, seek the assistance of a trusted legal professional who will know how to investigate the allegations, gather the appropriate information, as well as help determine who is the liable party. By doing so alone, one may find the investigation process to be strenuous and frustrating.


    When a party has the desire to remove themselves from liability in a construction project contract, such process is often done by using provisions in a contract known as “indemnification.” The word itself means to secure (someone) against legal responsibility for their actions. Furthermore, when a subcontractor agrees to indemnify a contractor, the subcontractor is willing to be responsible for a judgment given against a contractor. This is especially true if the contractor is the focus of a lawsuit. In order to not be damaged by this section of the contract, subcontractors often carry insurance policies that would cover their loss during such an event.


    All participants in a construction project, from the developer to the contractor, are required by law to perform their duties with a reasonable degree of care and professionalism. The participants must have the knowledge and skills necessary to complete their segment of the project in accordance with the standards of the building profession. This requirement is also known as a "duty of care." Such care encompasses all who could potentially experience harm from a construction project. Fortunately, a construction damage attorney can determine if a general contractor should be held responsible for any negligence done on their part, or if it was under the fault of the allied subcontractors who took part of the project.

    Doctrine of Substantial Performance

    When it comes to projects like these, it’s fairly common for one party to allege another party has not successfully fulfilled their part of the construction. This is known as a "breach of contract." This "breach" is more than just the failure of a builder to meet the necessary plans and specifications of a project. Such breach is something that could have created serious defects in the construction. To correct this defect could require significant financial hardship. Courts in these situations often follow the doctrine of substantial performance. This requires a builder to agree to a reduction in pay for the decreased market value of a home or other construction project. When going about this situation, it’s important to gain support from someone who understands how to comply if a builder failed to act accordingly with any project specifications, plans, contract and more.

    Monitoring the Project

    A great way to lower the risk of having a claim against a project for defective construction is for the customer, or their representative, to monitor all aspects of the project. Keeping careful observations is a good way to make certain the project is completed and free of defects. Although it’s possible for defects to occur, if they are identified early, the defect can be properly corrected before the project is complete. Correcting the defect will not ruin or intensely affect the process of the construction. Instead, confronting the mistake before completion will make the project more successful. Suggesting any major changes after the project has been deemed complete, may end up causing additional stress and utter frustration among the allied parties.

    Settlement Strategy

    Prior to a lawsuit being filed in a construction-litigation case, there will be an attempt at reaching a settlement. For any person who is seeking compensation, trusted legal support is highly recommended. Without having a knowledgeable attorney to support your claims, you may end up stressing from attempting to fend for yourself. This is especially true for those who are attempting to seek compensation with cases that involve more than one party. By also supplying years of experience an attorney has, as well as their familiarity with court, your chances of gaining a rightful settlement may be increased. By going about the matter alone, the court and opposing parties may view this as a weakness – prepping them to get the best out of your lawyer-less vulnerability.

    Benefits of Having Legal Support

    After a construction defect has impacted and frustrated you, what’s the motive for your reaction? Would you rather move on and find another contractor, or dispute the problem with the legal system? One option may end up costing you additional fees, while the other may help you gain a settlement for what you rightfully believe you deserve. Fending for your matter alone isn’t wrong, but it will certainly add vulnerability and have your case looked upon as something that isn’t to be taken too seriously. With the help of a knowledgeable and experienced construction damage law firm, the chances of your case getting belittled are slim. Instead, you’ll have trusted legal support defending your rights, as well as helping you negotiate for rightful repairs and for any damages or neglect that was portrayed during the job. For any questions you may have, or for trusted legal assistance with your unique legal matter, contact our firm now - we're here to help. Call now to speak to a knowledgeable member of our team.

    Your free case review regarding your unique situation is available by calling:

    888-529-3111 Monday-Friday, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

    Jack Ter-Saakyan, Esq.
    [NOTE: Attorney Advertising]: Nothing posted on this blog is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and hosted comments are available for general educational purposes only and should not be used to assess a specific legal situation. Nor does any comment on a blog post create an attorney-client relationship. The presence of hyperlinks to other third-party websites does not imply that the firm endorses those websites, their contents, or the activities or views of their owners.

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