Construction Defect Law FAQs
Construction defect law can be a little confusing. The following are the most common questions we receive from our clients.
How do I know if there is an existing construction defect?
Most construction defects are hard to detect by someone who is not an expert. However, there are some signs that you could look out for, including roof or window leaks, standing water in crawl spaces or basements, cracked or stained drywall, settlement or soil heave, inoperable doors or windows, insufficient heating or air conditioning, cracked foundations, electrical problems and cracked or settling asphalt. All of these issues can indicate that there is a larger issue at hand.
What should I do if I discover a construction defect?
If you suspect that you have a construction defect in your home, the best thing for you to do is have the problem investigated by a professional. You need to make sure that the investigations are thorough and performed by a qualified party.
Typically, this means someone who has professional experience identifying construction defects, such as an engineer. It’s common that an initial investigation does not discover any errors. You need to remember that your ability to make a claim will be controlled by your state’s statutes of limitations. If the dates have already passed, it’s too late to make a claim for any missed defects during the inspection.
Is arbitration mandatory?
Resolving disputes can be achieved by arbitration, as it involves a third-party that decides the outcome of a case after both sides have presented evidence. In most cases, the arbitrator’s decision is final, and it has the same weight as a decision that would have been rendered by a jury or judge in a court of law. Additionally, the decision made by the arbitrator cannot be appealed, unless certain errors are absent.
Sometimes a builder will attempt to force arbitration, but it is not mandatory. Arbitration should only be considered once an experienced construction defect lawyer has been consulted.
How do I choose a construction defect lawyer?
First, you need to consider the experience of the construction defect attorney. You need to ensure that they have years of experience handling the types of cases that you are now faced with. For example, an attorney may have experience representing multi-unit construction cases, but they may not be the best to handle individual homeowners cases. It’s important that you ask about their arbitration and trial experience, and what the firm’s success is in settling cases without having to resort to a court of law.
Secondly, you need to find out which attorney will be the one handling your case. It’s important that the attorney has the experience to engage in negotiations, conduct trials or arbitration and accurately direct discovery. When your case is handled by an experienced partner who will work with you on a daily base, you can rest assured that your case will get the attention you deserve.
Lastly, interview them in person. That way, you can gauge how involved they are regarding your particular needs, get some perspective and trust that they will be able to handle your case. Call Bryan Woods Attorney at Law in San Antonio today! 210-824-3278