If I see structural damage to my California home, including uneven floors or cracks in the walls or ceilings, do I need to contact a lawyer?

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James Kristy - Employment Litigation - Super Lawyers

Answered by: James Kristy

Located in Huntington Beach, CAThe Kristy Law Firm

Huntington Beach, CA
Phone: 714-841-7400
Fax: 800-229-7601

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Cracks and uneven floors in your home can be a sign of serious issues. You may have construction defects and, if your home was built on expansive or improperly graded soil, your problems may get worse. The state of California has a 10-year statute of repose. This means that you could own your home for nine years and still file for a lawsuit if construction defects become apparent. In addition to representing you in a construction defect case, a lawyer can help in several ways.

The Process Of Determining Your Claim

First, your attorney will need to determine whether you have construction defect claim. They will need to collect basic information such as when you bought the home and whether the builder tried to fix any identified issues upon construction. A lawyer can also send for structural and soil engineers for testing, which could serve as evidence in your case.

What You Will Need And What You Should Expect

Your attorney will want photographs of your home’s visible problem areas. It is also important for you to gather home-related documents such as residential purchase agreements. Everyone who buys a home must sign a purchase agreement and with it your lawyer will know if a builder made you arbitrate your claims.

You should expect your construction defect case to take some time. But an efficient lawyer can help, as they are well-versed in these matters and often have a network of experts to help the process along. Also expect some disruption during the investigation. To get to a point where a settlement is possible, both sides need to make inspections.

Considering The Cost

Many lawyers facing these types of cases will work on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney will charge legal fees based on a percentage of the settlement compensation. In a case where there is no financial recovery, you will likely not need to pay your attorney. An attorney with experience will be your best option, as they will know how to maximize compensation to make up for considerable costs involved with your construction defect case.

About The Lawyer

James R. Kristy has provided construction law representation and other legal services to California clients for decades. He founded Kristy Law Firm in 2003 and has recovered millions of dollars for clients in trials, settlements and arbitration.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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