Could there be a building defect in your home or your workplace? Could you be at risk?
How dangerous are construction defects, who is legally responsible for construction defects, and what are your rights if you are affected by a defect in your home or workplace?
Liability for a construction defect is almost always assigned to the architects and engineers or to the contractor and subcontractors.
That’s because construction defects occur in two ways: in the design phase or in the building process.
An engineer or architect is typically liable for a design defect, while a contractor or subcontractor may be held liable for a defect arising from the failure to follow design specifications during the building’s actual construction.
A number of quite serious problems with buildings are tied to construction defects.
Construction defects are almost always quite costly to repair, but if anyone is injured due to another party’s negligence regarding a construction defect, the injured victim may be able to file a personal injury claim and receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and sometimes more.
WHO IS AT RISK WHEN CONSTRUCTION IS DEFECTIVE?
Construction defects may pose a danger to construction workers during the building phase, to the occupants upon a building’s completion, and to nearby pedestrians and bystanders at any time.
If you sustain any type of personal injury or injuries in New York due to a construction defect, the law is on your side.
If you are injured in New York City or anywhere in the state of New York as the result of a construction defect, it is imperative to schedule a consultation – as soon as possible – with a Bronx personal injury attorney.
Of course, after an injury, seek medical attention at once – and then reach out for the legal help you need.
Your personal injury attorney will review the details of your case, determine where liability should be assigned, and provide the candid legal advice and guidance you’ll require.
If it’s necessary, your attorney will file a claim, negotiate a settlement, or even go to court in pursuit of justice – and compensation – on your behalf.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES IN A NEGLIGENT CONSTRUCTION CASE?
What would you have to prove if you filed a personal injury claim related to a construction defect?
What are the central legal issues in personal injury trials linked to construction defects?
How is liability determined in these cases?
Contracts are usually the key to any case involving construction and liability.
Before buildings can be constructed, property owners sign contracts with architects and contractors, architects sign contracts with engineers, and contractors sign contracts with subcontractors.
The titles “contractor” and “subcontractor” are just one indication of how important contracts are in the construction industry.
Each of these contracts will spell out the areas of responsibility of each party to the contract.
Everyone involved with a construction contract should closely examine that contract’s liability provisions.
What typically happens in the average construction project is that contracts are negotiated and drafted so that the liability for a construction defect “rolls downhill.”
HOW ARE MOST CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS DRAWN UP?
Generally speaking, owners draft construction contracts so that general contractors are legally accountable for construction defects, and general contractors draft construction contracts so that subcontractors must take responsibility for construction defects.
In any personal injury case generated by a construction defect, a victim’s personal injury attorney will scrutinize the building project’s construction contracts to identify the liable party or parties.
Of course, in most personal injury cases arising from construction defects, when an injury victim prevails, it’s an insurance company that inevitably ends up paying for the victim’s medical care, lost wages, and other damages.
That’s because subcontractors – the party at the bottom of the hill in the construction industry – usually have insurance coverage that protects them from liability for construction defects.
Even though the liability for construction defects tends to fall predominantly on subcontractors, everyone in the construction industry – from the architect to the day laborer – is obligated to ensure that construction work is performed competently, skillfully, and without any type of negligence.
In specific cases, a general contractor, an engineer or architect, or even a building or property owner could be held liable for a personal injury related to a construction defect.
Again, it depends on the details of the provisions in a construction project’s contracts and insurance policies.
And if contractors and subcontractors strictly adhered to a construction project’s design specifications, the engineer who approved those specifications may have liability.
WHAT MUST A VICTIM PROVE IN A NEGLIGENT CONSTRUCTION CASE?
When someone is injured in the state of New York because of a building or design flaw, the liable party – called the “defendant” in a lawsuit – may be sued for negligent construction.
To prevail with a negligent construction lawsuit, the injury victim, called the “plaintiff,” must prove that:
– the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
– the defendant failed to act with the care owed to the plaintiff
– the plaintiff sustained injury as a direct result of that failure
If you are injured because of a construction defect, you should understand that defendants in negligent construction cases are only liable for injuries that might have reasonably been foreseen.
Every case, of course, is different, and that’s why an injury victim who seeks compensation will need a qualified attorney’s insights and guidance.
HOW CAN A NEW YORK PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY HELP?
A plaintiff in a negligent construction case may have to explain a construction defect with some precision and may also have to show what type or quality of work should have been done.
That usually requires expert witnesses with strong construction backgrounds.
A skilled Bronx personal injury attorney will conduct an investigation, examine the evidence, line up expert witnesses, and use whatever legal tools are necessary and appropriate on a client’s behalf.
Even with dozens of local, state, and federal construction regulations, along with the construction industry’s own professional standards, the truth is that construction accidents and construction-related accidents still happen far too frequently, and far too many people are still injured because someone who participated in a building project was negligent.
If you’ve been injured in the state of New York because someone else was negligent, get the legal help you need. It’s your right.