Is there a statute of limitations on construction defect lawsuits?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Construction Defects |

When it comes to constructing homes and other structures, most people assume that the finished project will be completely free of defects. However, issues can arise that may leave a building in poor shape.

In this case, a person may want to file a construction defect lawsuit to recoup losses and hold the other party accountable. If you choose to file a suit in New Jersey, it is important to know the statute of limitations to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

What is the statute of limitations for construction lawsuits in New Jersey?

A statute of limitations refers to the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit. When it comes to construction defects, a person might suit a contractor, subcontractor, or other construction professional when the finished job does not meet the expectations.

In New Jersey, a person has six years to file a lawsuit related to construction defects. If they fail to file a suit in this period of time, the lawsuit will most likely be unsuccessful. However, there is a rule that can allow a person to exceed the statute of limitations but still proceed with civil action.

What if the damage is not completely obvious at first glance?

New Jersey’s discovery rule states that the statute of limitations clock begins when a person discovers a construction defect, as opposed to when the work was complete. For instance, a homeowner may not become aware of a hidden leak until sometime after a contractor visited their home, which can impact when they file a lawsuit.

Keep in mind that there is also a statute of repose, which lasts for 10 years. In this case, a person has only 10 years to pursue litigation, regardless of when they discovered the defect.

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