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Understanding construction defects and how to prove them

Construction defects are a big source of headaches for property owners. When contractors don't do what they are supposed to do or try to cut corners, serious trouble can occur. In some cases, the trouble can mean building code issues or instability. It can also lead to personal injury. For those reasons, people who think that there has been a defect in construction might opt to pursue compensation for that defect.

A construction defect can happen for a variety of reasons. Negligent construction, site planning issues, engineering problems, improper soil analysis and defective building materials can all lead to construction defects. In some cases, the construction defects might not become evident until years after the structure was built. That can sometimes make it difficult to prove the defect in court.

In some cases, expert testimony is necessary if you need to prove a construction defect in court. This requires the expert to investigate the defect. If you win your case, you might be able to receive compensation for the decline in the structure's value and the repairs necessary to fix the defect. There are some other costs that might be recovered, including court costs, temporary housing and loss of use of the structure during repairs.

It is important for anyone who has a construction defect claim to understand the claim. You can file a claim for a latent defect, which is one that becomes evident years after the structure was built. You can also file a claim for a patent defect, which is an obvious defect. In either case, knowing your legal rights can help you to decide how to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, "Construction Defect FAQs," accessed June 03, 2015

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