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Chicago Construction Defect Attorneys
Resolving Construction Disputes in Mundelein and Vernon Hills
When you hire a construction firm or contractors to build or renovate a property, you justifiably expect a final product that is habitable and consistent with contractual specifications. Shoddy workmanship and faulty design will jeopardize the value and safety of the impacted property.
Our Chicago construction defect lawyers can help you explore your legal options if you discover problems with your home or commercial property or are injured as a result of those problems. We are well-versed in real estate law and can hold construction firms and architects accountable for poor workmanship and/or flawed designs. Our team at Wolff Legal is committed to providing high-quality representation and will work tirelessly to deliver the results you need and deserve.
What to Do After Discovering a Construction Defect in Illinois
The sooner you discover a defect, the better. Ideally, you will conduct a thorough inspection of the newly completed or renovated property once the construction firm and/or contractors have completed their work. A careful review of each element of the property can result in your proactively spotting potential issues before you sign off on a completed project.
Many types of construction defects will not be immediately obvious, however. Some problems will not be visible to the untrained eye and will develop over time.
Examples of construction defects to watch out for include:
- Material defects
- Structural failure
- Foundation issues
- Plumbing issues
- Electrical issues
- Leaking, flooding, or water damage issues
- Building code violations
- Architectural and design flaws
When a construction defect has become apparent, you will need to take several steps to protect yourself. First, if a defect is so serious that it appears to threaten the integrity of the building, evacuate yourself and all occupants immediately. Next, you will need to inform your insurance company of the issue, especially if it poses an immediate safety hazard. Most homeowner insurance policies do not include coverage for construction defects, but it is still important to formally establish the problem and recover funds if possible.
To establish the scope and severity of the defect, you will generally need to hire an independent inspector or engineer to visit and evaluate the property. This contractor should be someone with specific and indisputable expertise in the type of problem they are assessing. After completing their inspection, they can confirm the existence and extent of the problem in writing. This piece of evidence will be extremely important in building your case.
With a full understanding of the problem, you must then review the details of your contract to confirm how defects and other disputes must be settled. Depending on the nature of the issue, you may need to review your contract with the construction firm (if the defect is the result of shoddy workmanship) or with the architect (if the defect is due to faulty design).
You should always have a qualified legal professional review real estate contracts before signing them, as many construction-related contracts seek to limit your ability to sue the architect and/or construction firm for defects. It is common for contracts to offer homeowners only a narrow window to pursue limited types of damages. You may also be limited to binding arbitration or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. If you find yourself in this situation, you still have legal options.
Under Illinois law, you benefit from the implied warranty of habitability. This means that you have a legal right to expect that a newly constructed or renovated property be habitable, and you have the ability to sue for damages if defects threaten that habitability. You will generally have up to ten years from the date of the completed construction to pursue these types of claims.
Our Chicago construction defect attorneys can review the relevant legal agreements and review the legal options are available to you. We can then represent you in any legal action taken against construction firms, contractors, and/or architects, and our team will work to recover the compensation necessary to resolve the defect.
What to Do If You Are Injured Due to a Construction Defect in Illinois
Some construction defects will only become apparent after they cause one or more injuries. An improperly installed handrail, an uneven step, or a structural collapse can all result in serious harm.
Construction firms and architects can be liable for injuries directly caused by shoddy or faulty workmanship, which is considered a form of negligence in this context. You will need to file a personal injury claim within two years of the date of the injury-causing incident if you are suing a private entity.
Winning a personal injury claim involving a construction defect will require demonstrating the following elements:
- The standard of the work that should have reasonably been provided
- The work that was provided fell below this acceptable standard
- The substandard work directly resulted in injury
Expert testimony can help prove these elements, and we can help source the appropriate professionals to assess your case. If you can establish these elements, you may be awarded compensation to cover expenses associated with your injuries.
Our Chicago construction defect lawyers can help you recover damages for:
- Medical expenses, including ongoing or rehabilitative care
- Missed or lost wages, including permanent reductions in earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering