Construction defects come in many forms and are often far more serious and expensive to repair than they first appear. It can take time for the signs to reveal themselves. Maybe you start noticing a few leaks after your first big storm, or cracks begin to appear in your pool. The problem can be at the very core of the structure.
Your property’s value should not be diminished by defective construction. Builders and contractors can be held responsible for defects in their work and the damage those defects cause. Most have substantial insurance policies to cover these liabilities, but the insurance companies will fight hard to avoid paying.
You need the help of an experienced construction defect attorney to prove the defects and navigate the complex waters of construction defect law so that you can recover the compensation that you deserve. Los Angeles construction defect attorney Timothy Norton has 33 years of experience and a proven track record of success. Call (310) 706-4134 today to schedule your free consultation. Norton & Associates serves the Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Metropolitan areas of California.
After discovering construction defects, you have a limited amount of time to take legal action. But you don’t want to jump the gun by demanding compensation before you know the true extent of the damages, because you will not be able to go back later and ask for more if you discover that the damage is deeper and far more expensive to repair than you thought.
Consulting with an experienced construction defect attorney right away can protect your right to seek compensation as well as the value of your case.
The statute of limitations is your time limit for filing a lawsuit. In California, you typically have ten years from completion of construction or date of first occupancy. But, it’s not always that simple. If you are dealing with patent defects, those that are obvious, you only have four years. The ten-year period is for latent defects, the hidden defects that most owners do not discover until they have owned the home or property for some time and problems start cropping up.
If breach of contract is involved, and it often is in construction defect cases, you have four years from the date that you discovered the defect or became aware of the breach. When suing for injury or damage to real property caused by the defect, you have three years to file suit. And, if you are suing for fraud, you have three years from the date that the fraud was discovered.
It may sound like you have a lot of time, but you should not delay in talking to an experienced construction defect attorney. As soon as you realize something is wrong, it is time to contact Norton & Associates and schedule your free consultation. Construction defect lawsuits can be very complex. A thorough review of the structure is necessary to identify all of the defects and underlying problems that will require repair. You only get one shot at recovering damages, so your claim must be complete and all inclusive.
Why Choose Norton & Associates?
When you choose Norton & Associates, attorney Timothy Norton will personally handle every detail of your case. Mr. Norton has over 30 years of experience in handling construction defect cases and a proven track record of success with significant recoveries for his clients. He is a sole practitioner who keeps his caseload extremely selective in the cases he takes on so that he can devote an extraordinary amount of personal attention to each case. This is the key to his success.
Mr. Norton will handpick a team of experts specifically for the needs in your case. This can include a general contractor, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, experts in trades related to your defect, and other relevant experts needed to determine and prove the value of your damages.
Most construction defect cases are settled without going to trial. Mr. Norton has more 33 years of experience in negotiating and settling construction defect cases. He knows the mediators, arbitrators and judges who handle these cases in the Los Angeles area. His well-established negotiation skills and thorough approach lead to higher settlement offers for his clients. His opponents know that he is prepared to prove the value of the damages should the case go to trial.
When you are represented by Norton & Associates, you will never be handed off to a junior attorney or an associate. Mr. Norton takes pride in handling every aspect of your case and in knowing the facts of each case thoroughly and extensively. By taking on a few select cases, he is able to focus fully on your case and devote an extraordinary amount of attention to the strengths of your case.
Construction Defect Claims
When you file a lawsuit, you must have a cause of action. A construction defect claim will be based on one or more of the following:
- Negligence: A contract is not needed to prove negligence; we only need to prove that the builder performed below the accepted standard.
- Breach of contract: Breach of contract can apply if there was a contract. In California, building code violations constitute breach of contract.
- Fraud: Fraud applies if there was some form of deception involved.
Construction defect claims may involve:
- Soil subsidence
- Improper slope
- Defective roof, doors, windows, and/or exterior treatments
- Ground water issues
- Water intrusion issues
- Structural defects, such as defects in foundations, load bearing walls, and structural components including geotechnical engineering
- HVAC defects
- Electrical defects
- Plumbing defects
- Mechanical defects
- Engineering flaws
- Building code violations
Mr. Norton works with well-known and established experts with specific expertise tailored to your case to evaluate the issues, the claims, identify all of the underlying defects and determine the damages.
Potential Damages in Construction Defect Cases
Construction defects can be very expensive for home and property owners. The problem that you notice is usually just the tip of the iceberg, caused by much deeper defects. This means extensive and expensive repair work, and a significant amount of time during which you cannot enjoy your home and must find other accommodations.
Damages that you can receive include:
- Cost of repair or diminution in value.
- Loss of use, including moving costs.
- Costs of suit, including Attorney’s fees (in some cases).
Determining the full scope of the damages is critical. This is where our team of experts comes in, so that we know how extensive the defects truly are, what it will cost to correct them, and have a good estimate of how long you will be without the use of your home.
While your home is being repaired, you will need somewhere else to live. These are not weekend repairs and will often take anywhere from eight to 12 months, meaning that you will incur the costs of moving and paying for another home.
We will also look at the contract for the purchase and sale of the home to determine if you are entitled to attorney’s fees.
Once the damages are determined, the next critical task is recovery. A common concern for clients is that the builder and/or other defendants will not have the money to pay. In a construction defect claim, these damages are typically paid by builder and subcontractor’s defendant’s insurance companies, making this a critical factor in the early evaluation of the case and the prospects for recovery.
Construction defect cases can be very complex, and they take time. It is common for a new case to take 12 to 18 months. If you have already started your case with another attorney, we may be able to resolve your case in less time.
We start with your free initial consultation. As soon as you suspect that you are dealing with construction defects, or if you have already initiated your claim and feel that it is not going anywhere, call attorney Timothy Norton and schedule your consultation.
Mr. Norton will evaluate the facts in your case, review the applicable documents including insurance policies and any contracts, and an expert will make an initial assessment of the cost of repairs to determine what your case is worth. If the value is substantial and you have a good case, we can move forward and a contingency fee basis. This means, you only incur attorney’s fees if you recover compensation and the fees are a percentage of your recovery.
Once Mr. Norton and his team of experts have performed a comprehensive, top-to-bottom review of the structure to identify all underlying defects and determine the cost of repairs, your case may move to mediation or arbitration. Some contracts require that we go to arbitration.
Mediation is a negotiation process facilitated by a neutral third party, the mediator, during which we try to reach a solution that both sides can agree to. This normally ends in a favorable settlement for our clients. Arbitration is also overseen by a neutral third party, but the process is more structured than mediation and the arbitrator may render a decision after hearing the facts and arguments from both parties.
The majority of Mr. Norton’s construction defect cases are resolved without the need to go to trial.
Once your case is resolved and you have been paid, you can begin repairs and get on your way to finally enjoying your new home.
Schedule Your Complimentary Construction Defect Consultation Today
To learn more about construction defects and your rights, and to find out if you have a case, please call Norton & Associates at (310) 706-4134 or email us today to schedule your free consultation. We welcome clients from Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, California.