Accomplished Trial Lawyers | Trusted Business Advisors

Outside of firm's brick office building.

Construction companies should know how to address defect claims

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Construction Law

For Indiana construction companies, their reputation is their lifeblood. Receiving good word of mouth is key to getting new contracts and maintaining and building their business. Allegations of missteps and construction defects can undo all the good work a company has done.

It is important that construction companies and contractors are fully aware of how construction defects are addressed under the law. Simply because there is a dispute between the company and the client does not mean it needs to be acrimonious, nor does it always end up in court.

What does the law say about addressing construction defects?

Construction companies must be informed of the claim of a defect before a lawsuit can be filed. The claimant is required to notify the construction company of the defect a minimum of 60 days before a case can proceed. The construction professional will receive detailed information as to the scope of the problem so they have the chance to look at the defect and try to find ways to remedy it.

The construction professional has 21 days to give a written response. In that response, there are three options:

  1. They can ask to inspect the property to see about the alleged defect. Then, they can offer to repair it; make a payment to the client to cover for the defect; or say they do not see a defect and initiate a dispute.
  2. They can offer a compromise without inspecting the work. They can even offer to purchase the residence itself and pay for the costs of the property owner relocating.
  3. They can dispute the claim and say they will not compensate the property owner nor will they fix the alleged defect.

The law also dictates what happens when the action over the defect is initiated. Construction companies who dispute the defect claim or choose to not respond to the notice can face a legal claim immediately. When there is an offer to inspect the property or compromise financially sans inspection and the property owner rejects that, they must give written notice. Once that is done, they can pursue legal action.

If the claimant does not adhere to the time limits of accepting or rejecting the construction professional’s offer, then it can be terminated. Once these discussions are terminated, the claimant can file a legal case.

Construction companies must protect their interests

Given the rise of construction projects and how lucrative the business can be, it is vital that companies do whatever they can to foster a good reputation with quality work. Construction defect claims can undo that and be costly in myriad ways. For these and other construction law issues, it is important to have experienced guidance.