Jacksonville Legal Blog
You know something is wrong. You bought a new house or had remodeling work done, but now you have discovered a leak, a crack in the drywall, a crack in the foundation, electrical issues, plumbing issues, standing water or some other problem. What do you do now?
Investigate The Problem
Be aware that the root cause of a leak or another problem may not be immediately obvious. You may need to have a structural engineer or another professional investigate the problem. Do not entrust the investigation to the original contractor, as the contractor may try to minimize the problem or offer a fix that is little more than a temporary cover-up. You may want to consider contacting a construction law attorney right away at this part of the process, as the attorney will be able to bring in a trusted expert.
Review The Construction Contract
Your contract with the general contractor or construction company will have critical information about warranties, rights and responsibilities. It may state that the losing party is responsible for paying the prevailing party’s legal fees. It may also dictate that construction defect disputes be resolved through arbitration or another form of alternative dispute resolution, rather than going to trial. Careful review of the contract is important, because failure to adhere to its terms could leave you in breach of contract. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the terms of the construction contract.
Make Emergency Repairs
Resolving construction defect claims can take time. If water is leaking into your house, you may not be able to wait until the case is resolved. Be aware that getting necessary repairs made now may not disqualify you for seeking damages. You may still be able to pursue a claim to get reimbursed for the repair costs and more. To be on the safe side, you may want to review your case with a construction law attorney before moving forward with any repairs.
Stay Within The Statute Of Repose
Florida’s Statute of Repose, sometimes referred to as the statute of limitations, dictates the latest date at which a construction defect claim can be filed. It varies based on the situation, and more time is allowed for latent defects. While the statute does allow a significant amount of time, property owners who suspect defects are encouraged to take action as quickly as possible, not only to ensure that they do not miss the cutoff, but so a case can be pursued while evidence is still relatively fresh.
Enlist A Construction Law Attorney
At Heekin, Malin & Wenzel, we offer free consultations. We will work with experts as needed to determine whether there is defective construction and to understand its nature. We will find out who caused it and take the appropriate action to pursue compensation for you.