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Statute of Limitations vs. Statute of Repose

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Every construction project has the potential for something to go wrong. Often times a defect will only be found years after work has been completed on a project, and evidence of negligence can be difficult to come by. Therefore, for the sake of time and accuracy, deadlines are put in place to limit the liability of a construction firm in the event a defect, such as a roofing defect, is found.

The time limit for filing a construction defect claim depends on when the defect is discovered and can vary from state to state. In many states, such as Arkansas, only a handful of years can pass before a claim becomes ineligible to file. Below, a Little Rock construction attorney will describe the differences between the deadlines for filing. These deadlines are called a statute of limitations and a statute of repose.

Statute of Limitations   

The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a claim once the cause for the claim is discovered. Once the defect is brought to light, the property owner will have until this deadline to file a claim. Generally, this deadline is within five years from the date the project was completed, but it can extend up to 20 years in some states. The date of the deadline will also depend on if the claim is referring to a contract dispute or a tort claim.

Statute of Repose

A statute of repose extends beyond a statute of limitations. A property owner will be unable to file a construction defect claim after this deadline, even if the defect was not discovered until this time. This deadline is generally under 10 years, but can extend to 20 years in some states. The purpose of a statute of repose is to create an absolute limit for when a claim can be filed. This is to ensure that any evidence concerning a construction defect claim is genuine and verifiable. It also deters any litigious owners from filing false claims.

As previously mentioned, the time to file a construction defect claim varies from state to state and situation to situation. If you believe you may be up against a tight deadline, please contact a Little Rock construction attorney. They can provide state-specific information and assistance for any construction defect claim.

If you would like to speak with a Little Rock construction lawyer, please contact us today.

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.