You have discovered a number of construction defects in your new home. The defects are serious, serious enough to require an investigation and repair. You’re not sure of the cost, but given the value of your home and the extent of the defects, the cost could be substantial, could require extensive work and possibly a move-out. You’ve been aware of the defects for a period of time, from their first indication over time to a significant problem. The home is new, custom built, valuable and now threatened by these defects. You’re aware that there are statutes of limitation that might affect your claim. And, you believe that the builder and developer who built the home should be held responsible for the remedy. You need the advice and opinions of a construction defect attorney to understand your rights, the prospects for recovering from the builder or developer, the costs to pursue a case and the time-frame for recovery or resolution. What should you look for? What are the critical characteristics of a construction defect attorney that you should consider? This blog will address those questions and guide you through the process.
Characteristics: Experience, Case Evaluation, Costs and Strategic Planning
The most critical characteristic to look for in choosing a construction defect attorney is experience, experience in years, in the courtroom, in settlement, in dealing with insurance companies and with builders, developers and contractors, adjustors and attorneys. Experience is also vital in your precise circumstances, such as new custom home construction, condominium, townhome, loft or other type of construction, as well as the specific issue: is the issue waterproofing and water intrusion or leaks, foundation and structural issues, or issues with the various components, electrical, air-conditioning, retaining walls, stucco or other elements. A discussion on these specific issues will reveal the construction defect attorney’s actual real-life experience with your defects and your circumstances, whether you are pursuing a contractor, a builder, a developer, a seller, or all of the above.
Next, the construction defect attorney should evaluate your case, whether it’s viable and worth pursuing, whether your target party is worth pursuing and whether the case makes financial and monetary sense. The existence of insurance, assets and financial viability of the target contractor, as well as the rough and preliminary estimate of the possible cost of repair and other related damages will give valuable insight into the financial and business rationale for the decision to move forward with the litigation.
When contemplating a lawsuit, it’s important to discuss the costs, the approach and the times-frame for the case. Cases can be handled on a hourly fee basis or contingency, and the financial ramifications of how each of the fee arrangement plays out is important to consider. The time frame for the case may be 2 years. This needs to be discussed.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the most critical characteristic of a construction defect attorney is having a clear and coherent strategic plan for your case, that focuses immediately on pursuing the case in the most expedient manner, efficiently, quickly, and decisively quantifying the damages and costs of repair, filing the lawsuit without delay, naming and joining all the responsible parties and engaging their insurance policies and steering the case toward mediation and settlement, while using the steady pressure of the court and trial calendar to encourage and force a settlement. The construction defect attorney must be personally involved and committed to your case, your situation and your solution. This personal engagement and commitment cannot be delegated to a junior associate, or a paralegal. The construction defect attorney with the experience, the knowledge and the specialized expertise must be a hands-on dedicated master of every element, every fact and every nuance of your case.
These are the characteristics which Timothy Norton of Norton & Associates brings to every case. 34 year of experience. $190m in jury verdicts. Personalized direct involvement. And, a strategic plan for your case to address your situation, designed to protect your investment.