Illinois Construction Defect Claims
Construction Defects Defined
A construction defect generally refers to some type of deficiency in the construction process that leads to a failure in some aspect of the structure being built or remodeled. The most common types of deficiencies that give rise to a construction defect claim involves issues with respect to the design of the structure, issues involving the type of material used on the structure, or issues pertaining to the workmanship performed by the general contractor or one of the subcontractors.
Construction Defect Claims Against Contractors
In Illinois, the law states that a contractor must perform its work in a “reasonably workmanlike manner.” Similar to a lot of laws, this standard is subjective and open to a lot of interpretation. However, the law is very clear that the “reasonable workmanlike manner” standard does not require a contractor to perfectly perform. Instead, a contractor is only required to “substantially perform” in a “reasonably workmanlike manner” in order to prevail on a construction defect claim.
Defining “substantial performance” is just as difficult as defining what a “reasonably workmanlike manner” means. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that if you sue a contractor for not perfectly beveling each piece of installed interior trim, you probably won’t win. Conversely, if your contractor installs a completely un-level deck or uses the wrong type of roofing shingles or uses cracked foundation blocks and refuses to correct their mistakes, you probably have a solid construction defect claim.
Personal Injury Construction Defect Claims
In addition to litigation between property owners and contractors, suppliers, or architects, construction defect claims also arise in the field of personal injury law. After all, one job of a contractor is to ensure the construction job site is safe for workers and others. In other words, construction work must be performed in compliance with OSHA, applicable building codes, and applicable safety policies. If a contractor fails to follow those laws, they may be held liable to someone who suffers an injury on the construction job site.
Working with a Construction Lawyer
Construction law is a fairly niche area, so folks with construction defect claims should strive to work with an experienced construction lawyer. Personally, because of the years I spent in the construction industry as a non-union laborer and union fire sprinkler fitter, I take a lot of pride in applying my practical construction background when representing individuals in construction defect claims.
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