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Legal liability for construction defects

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2022 | Construction Defects

It can be frustrating than trying to have something built for you in California and having it come crashing down around your ears. Whether due to a design flaw or an issue with the construction, construction defects can lead to legal liability for those involved.

Construction defects are generally considered the responsibility of the contractor or subcontractor.

This means that, in most cases, the party responsible for ensuring that the construction project was completed safely and properly is liable for any injuries or damages resulting from the defect. There are a few theories on which to proceed.

Determining negligence

Under California law, negligence is defined as an act or omission which creates an unreasonable risk of harm to another party. Establishing negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty to protect the plaintiff from harm and that defendant breached that duty.

Determining breach of contract

To succeed in claiming breach of contract, the owner must prove the following:

  • That they entered into a contractual relationship with the builder.
  • That there was a material breach on the part of the builder.
  • Reasonable efforts were made by them to remedy the breach but were unsuccessful.

What is a strict liability claim?

When it comes to construction defect claims, strict liability is often the norm. This means that whoever is responsible for a defective construction project is liable for any damages that arise from the defect, regardless of whether they were aware of the defect or were at fault. In most cases, defendants are liable even if they did not create the defect.

Construction defects

Construction defects are responsible for millions of dollars yearly in property damage and injuries. If you have been harmed, it is crucial to know your rights and what you can do to protect yourself.