How to prove liability for construction defects

There are many different types of construction projects in southern California. There are residential housing projects, small commercial projects, large building projects and many others. While the end goal of each project may be different, there are similarities in the general process of construction projects. They generally start with the design, then foundations are constructed and the outside framing of the building is built. The projects then end with the electrical, plumbing, HVAC and finishing touches inside the structure.

There are many different steps along the way and many different contractors involved in the process. It is important that each contractor and subcontractor do their job and do it well. If any one of the contractors makes a mistake, it can affect the many aspects of the project and can create significant problems later on. These construction defects can also be very costly to repair as well. The owner may be able to receive compensation for the defect though depending on the cause of it.

Types of liability for construction defects

In order to receive compensation, the first step in the process is to determine who caused the defect. Then the owner needs to determine how the contractor is liable. There are different basis for liability. There is:

  • Negligence – contractors are negligent if their work falls below a reasonable standard for that type of work.
  • Breach of Contract – This occurs if the contractor does not complete part of what the contract requires them to complete.
  • Breach of Warranty – This occurs if there are warranties on the property after construction and defects occur during this time frame.
  • Other types of liability include strict liability, fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

If property owners in California discover construction defects, it is important that they are compensated by the contractor responsible for the defect. Determining who is liable for the defect can be a complicated process though. Experienced attorneys understand what to look for though and may be able to guide one through the process.


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