When is a Lawsuit Against a Commercial Construction Policy Needed?
No one wants to file a lawsuit, but doing so is sometimes necessary, particularly when you have paid for a poorly constructed building. Construction flaws are expensive to repair and can cost a company significant business. If the problem building is a new home, the construction issues can make life difficult, leave you cash poor and even cause you to temporarily relocate. If the contractor won’t willingly fix these problems, you may need to file a lawsuit to get financial relief. If your contractor is properly insured, the lawsuit will actually be against their insurance company. In many circumstances, pursuing this litigation is your best course of action to receive fair compensation.
You can experience two kinds of construction defects: design problems and building problems. The first type is the fault of your architect and the second the fault of your general contractor or subcontractors. These flaws in building and design can make the buildings unusable or result in injuries to the construction workers or building tenants. Some of these issues can be corrected if enough time and money are involved. Others, particularly design flaws, may be impossible to fix satisfactorily. In any event, these issues leave you with few options. Either the architects or construction contractors agree to correct the problem or you’ll have to take legal action to force them to compensate you. When that happens, you need to hire experienced construction law attorneys.
Certain elements need to be in place in order for you to successfully sue. First, you need to prove you have a legitimate contract with the other party. You should have a clear written contract with your construction company or architect. Failing that, you will have to demonstrate that you have an enforceable oral contract. Doing so will likely require the help of a good construction law attorney.
Once you’ve established the existence of a contract, you will have to prove that you kept up your part of the bargain by making timely payments and fulfilling any other agreed-to-duties. If you have, then the case will be decided on whether or not the other party breached the contract or committed some other egregious act.
When your building has clear construction defects, your state may require you to give the contractor a chance to make repairs before you take any other action. Your construction contract should state that the work must meet certain quality standards. If the contractor does not make the necessary repairs following the agreed-to standards, you may then file a lawsuit.
Breach of Contract
If you feel that the contractor did not meet their contractual obligations, you can sue them for breach of contract. To prove breach of contract, your lawyer will need to show that the contractor did not complete the jobs they promised to do and/or that their work was shoddy and did not meet the contract terms.
Finally, your lawyer will have to prove that you suffered a financial loss as the result of this breach of contract. Your lawyer should be able to easily demonstrate this loss since you will be forced to pay for repairs or to have work totally redone. In some instances, your property value may have fallen as a result of the contractor or architect’s work.
Your attorney may file a lawsuit for fraud. In some cases, a contractor makes deliberately misleading statements about their work or the property. For instance, the contractor may assure you that your new home sits on quality land, but you later find that it is located on top of an old, undisclosed landfill. In that case, your lawyer may choose to file for fraud instead of some other cause.
Construction Lawsuit Damages
Your attorney may be able to recover money to pay for repairs, to make up for a decline in property value, to meet the cost of temporary housing, cover court costs, compensate for loss of use of property, pay for medical expenses and, in some cases, cover attorney’s fees. If the defendant is found to have intentionally or recklessly caused the construction problems, your attorney may also be able to get punitive damages awarded to you as well.
In most cases, the defendant’s insurance company is on the hook for any damages. If for some reason, the contractor is not covered by insurance, you can sue them directly. Collecting the money will be more difficult in these instances, particularly if the business is not in great financial shape. Your attorney may caution against filing a lawsuit if the chances of receiving compensation are low. That old saying, “You can’t get blood from a turnip” sometimes applies to construction law.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.
In the Chicago area, construction issues are a daily part of life. New housing and commercial buildings are continually being built, and, while many of these projects go smoothly, a fair percentage do not. That’s why you need to be represented by a legal firm with years of experience in construction law.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. works with attorneys that specializes in construction lawsuits, so they know how to protect you in these situations. They will aggressively pursue damages, both compensatory and punitive, when you’ve been physically or financially injured by a construction job.
At Whiteside & Goldberg, all potential clients get a free consultation. Also, you never pay a cent upfront. You aren’t responsible for any fees until your settlement is finalized. That way, you can focus on getting the financial relief you deserve instead of incurring more costs.
For more information on Illinois construction law, call Whiteside & Goldberg at 312-334-6875 for the Michigan Avenue office and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood location. When you have a construction issue, trust Whiteside & Goldberg to handle your lawsuit.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.