After your new home or commercial property is completed, you expect that you will be able to enjoy full use of it for many years to come and that there will not be structural failure. But if your structure was not built to a proper standard, you may discover that your property will not withstand the test of time.
Faulty or shoddy workmanship, defective materials or design, and even improperly trained workers can lead to a structure with multiple latent defects. You won’t discover these defects until long after you’ve moved into the building. Over time, these defects can lead to a house or building that is uninhabitable.
What is structural failure?
This term refers to defects where a load-bearing component of a structure cannot support and transfer loads between two different elements. Structural failure generally develops because of a breakdown in the performance of the materials used in structural components.
This can be caused by:
• The failure of the engineer to supervise the construction activities that can result in faults to elements that later develop into structural failure. Examples can include the use of a lesser grade of steel that is not specified, using the wrong sand for creating concrete, bad welds, or other substandard materials.
• Incorrect design: failure by the engineer to properly account for all the loads that the structure is intended to carry. This can mean using inaccurate data, failing to consider the impacts of repetitive or impulsive stressors, misunderstanding of properties, improper use of materials, etc.
• Failure of the foundation: if a structure’s foundation cannot carry the load for the entire structure.
• Overloading: excess loads applied beyond the anticipated weight. This can be attributed to earthquake vibrations, extra heavy snow loads, hurricanes, storage, changes, views, etc.
• New types of structures may be subject to unexpected failures by incorporating new innovations
These are just some of the examples of what can lead to structural failure in a construction project.
Filing A Claim For Compensation
You may be left with a home or other property that is uninhabitable. What do you do next?
The first step is to locate the party responsible for the problem that led to the structural failure. Was the work performed in the construction of the property substandard? Were the windows incorrectly installed, or was there something wrong with the roof?
The first step is to figure out where the defect happened. This could be the designer, product manufacturer, or contractor who may have used incorrect building materials in place of those specified in the contract.
Chances are your home or other construction projects represent a significant investment. Because these defects directly impacted not only your residence or business but also your finances. investment, you should consider filing a claim for compensation if you are unable to resolve the problem with the responsible party.
First, contact an attorney who understands West Virginia construction law and defective workmanship cases. Your attorney can work with you to discover the source of what led to structural failure and the parties that may be responsible. Through discovery, your attorney can find out the exact person or entity responsible for this liability. Once that liability is found you will be able to file a claim to recover compensation for your losses.
Defective Workmanship Lawyer In Charleston, WV
Latent defects don’t appear for months or years after construction is completed. These hidden defects can lead to eventual structural damage and possible hazards for occupants. Should you discover defects in your home that led to eventual structural failure, contact an attorney immediately to establish both liability and possible safety issues.
Work with a Charleston, WV lawyer who has the experience and understanding to help with latent defects and defective workmanship cases. Contact Chad Love at The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 for a free consultation.