Construction defects are a common occurrence in buildings in New Jersey. Errors happen all the time, and most of them are not premeditated. However, you should not suffer consequences for such defects. Instead, you should find a way to have them corrected, especially if it wasn’t your fault. Here’s what you need to know.
Types of liability construction defects
There are several types of liability for defects in construction. They depend on the contract type as well as the conduct of the contractor or sub-contractor:
Contractual liability: This occurs when a business owner enters into a contract with a contractor, and the contractor fails to live up to his or her obligations. To establish contractual liability, you typically need to show that there was a valid contract in place, the contractor failed to perform their obligations under the contract, and as a result, you suffered damages.
Tort liability: Tort liability often arises when a contractor negligently performs its duties. To prove this, you will need to show that the contractor owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and as a result, you suffered damages.
Third-party liability: This is where someone other than the contractor or you are responsible for the construction defects. For example, if a manufacturer of construction materials fails to test its products properly, and those products end up causing defects, that manufacturer may be liable for those defects.
Dealing with construction defects in New Jersey
Document the defects – If you discover construction defects in your business, it is important to document them promptly. This will help you to preserve any evidence that may be relevant to a potential claim.
Notify the contractor – Notify the contractor of the defects you discovered on your property. This will give them the opportunity to investigate and take steps to correct the problem.
Deal with any disputes that arise – The contractor or manufacturer can refuse to repair or pay for damages they are liable for. You can be forced to sue them if they can’t negotiate or arbitrate a sensible solution.
If you’re considering suing for construction liability defects, do so within six years of discovery. New Jersey court can dismiss your claim if you take too long to address your issues.