Springtime is the prime time of year to break ground on construction projects. Builders, engineers, architects, and contractors are all working to get their plans in motion now that the weather is warmer. Such professionals are trained in their industry and required by law to maintain certain certifications and licensing, but that does not mean they do not make mistakes, sometimes very serious and deadly mistakes.
Construction defects are a common cause of serious, injurious accidents across the nation. But when someone gets hurt because of a construction defect, who would be held legally liable for their damages?
Legal Liability for Flawed Construction
Construction defects typically happen in the design phase of the construction process or in the actual building phase of the construction process. The state of the construction process plays an important role in determining who is legally liable for accidents that occur as a result of a design or construction defect. When flaws and defects occur during the design phase, the architect or engineer would be deemed responsible. Contractors and subcontractors are usually liable for defects that occur more during the building and construction phase.
Because construction defects can take place before ever breaking ground AND well after a project has been completed, accidents can injure multiple types of victims, from construction workers and laborers to future visitors or occupants of the building, pedestrians, interior designers, and more.
How Construction Project Contracts Can Affect Liability for Defects
The two major legal concepts in a construction defect liability case are contracts and indemnification. A single construction project can involve a stack of contractual agreements, all of which are legally binding to whoever signs them. For instance, the building owner might have a contract with the architect, who in turn has one with the engineer. The building owner may also have a contract with the general contractor, who might have contracts with subcontractors.
When it comes to applying the law in a construction defect case, the provisions of such contracts will have the most impact on outcome. The details of each contractual agreement should fully spell out all terms and conditions surrounding construction defect liability. In most cases, liability for a design or construction defect gets pushed down the chain of authority. The building owner hands over full liability for defects to the general contractor, who places the liability via contract onto each subcontractor, and so forth.
Liability for construction defects is commonly passed through contractual agreements as well. Indemnification provisions allow this passing of liability to be held up under law. This might happen between contractor and subcontractor. A general contractor might include an indemnity provision in their contract with a subcontractor, making the subcontractor indemnify the general contractor. Essentially, the indemnitor, in this case the subcontractor, would agree to pay back any expenses incurred as a result of a construction defect lawsuit against the general contractor that was caused by the subcontractor’s negligence.
Examples of Personal Injury Accidents Caused by Construction Defects:
▷ Unsecured railing causes a person to fall off the balcony.
▷ Occupants are crushed after the roof collapses.
▷ Faulty electrical work leads to an electrocution accident.
▷ Improper installation causes a gas line explosion.
▷ Poor design causes a roadway bridge or building to collapse.
For Construction Defect Accident Victims
If you are a recent victim of a construction defect accident in Indiana, you deserve financial justice. Get in touch with a skilled and experienced Indiana personal injury law firm that can fully document a strong and impactful case and obtain the maximum settlement for your damages.
Are you the victim of a negligent building defect or construction accident in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted Indianapolis construction accident lawyer who knows product defect cases. We represent victims all throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.