Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 18, 2013

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Homeowners or renters that suffer injuries or property damage due to construction defects to their residence may be able to pursue the parties responsible for building or renovating the home or apartment.  Although each situation is different, there are some general considerations before taking any action.  As with any construction claim or legal action, an experienced attorney should be consulted – particularly in serious cases.

Common Construction Defect Damages

Not every construction defect will warrant sigificant damages, however, there are some common ones that you should pursue or discuss with your attorney:

  • Cost of repairs: Any costs associated with the repair or renovation should be noted and claimed 
  • Cost of injuries:  Medical costs including surgeries, treatments, and rehabilitation
  • Future costs:  Should the injury or illness be serious and ongoing, attempt to calculate future costs by working with doctors and other medical professionals.
  • Lost wages:  Should you miss time from work, calculate the money you lost by not collecting wages
  • Cost of relocation:  If you need to move or temporarily relocate as a result of the repairs or renovations, keep track of any expenses associated with your relocation
  • Quality of life:  Loss of quality of life damages can be very difficult to calculate, but can arise from inability to enjoy your living space by inviting friends over, spending time with your family, or otherwise getting the type of life you expected for the money you paid for your home or apartment
  • Property damage:  If your property was damaged as a result of the construction defect, keep track of the costs associated with the loss or repair of your property

Pursuing Construction Defects Damages

When pursuing a claim or a lawsuit for construction defects damage, you will likey be questioned by insurance professionals or attorneys representing the construction company or contractors responsible for the damage.  Working with insurance companies and attorneys who oppose your position can be difficult, and you will be asked to describe all the circumstances of your defect and the damages you believe you suffered.  During this process, you will need to be very careful about what you say because any statements that downplay the effect of the defect or suggest you contributed to worsening can derail your claim.  It is best to speak carefully, provide only the facts of the defect and the damages, and consult an attorney prior to taking any action.