Construction defects are among the most common and costly sources of disputes in the construction industry. We’ve written numerous articles on the subject, all exploring what a contractor’s options are when they are hit with a notice of an intent to make a construction defect claim. In this brief article, we discuss why your first call after receiving a notice should be to a Ft. Myers construction defect attorney.
Right to Repair
Despite the clear benefits of having a system of checks and balances, fewer than 20 states have enacted right-to-repair laws. Fortunately, Florida is just such a state. “The Legislature finds that it is beneficial to have an alternative method to resolve construction disputes that would reduce the need for litigation as well as protect the rights of property owners.” Under Florida law, an owner is required to file a notice of claim with the party responsible for the defect, thus giving the contractor, subcontractor, or supplier enough time to resolve the claim without the need for litigation. At least, that’s the idea.
Once this notice is received, you will have a limited amount of time to respond. Your options are as follows:
- Perform an inspection
- Request destructive testing
- Serve a copy of the notice of claim to all responsible parties
In addition to the above, you are required to serve a written response to the claimant including a report containing the inspection results. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may have as little as 15 days to serve a written response (consult a Ft. Myers construction defect attorney for more details). You can either offer to repair the damages at no cost to the owner, settle the claim for monetary damages, settle the claim through a combination of repair and monetary damages, advise that monetary payment will be determined by a person’s insurer, or outright dispute the claim.
Why You Need a Lawyer on Your Side
There are numerous parties that can be involved in a construction defect claim. With contractors, subcontractors, and sub-subcontractors all contributing to a project’s outcome, do you know for sure that you were responsible for the lion’s share of damages? In addition, all of the above options and responses have varying deadlines that must be strictly adhered to. In order to protect your business, you must partner with a Ft. Myers construction defect lawyer who can ensure that you abide by Florida law and are protected when the responsibility falls to another party.
While the State of Florida has implemented laws to make this process easier, the only surefire way to protect your company against groundless construction defect claims is to consult an attorney with years of experience in the industry. The next time you receive a notice of claim, be sure to consult an experienced attorney from Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.