3 Things To Do When Facing A Construction Defects Lawsuit In South Florida
West Palm Beach law firms report a steady increase in construction-related disputes as the number of construction projects in the county continues to rise due to the remarkable recovery of the South Florida real estate market. In a significant number of construction disputes, lawyers in West Palm Beach FL say that construction defects have often been the focal points of litigation. In the unfortunate event in which one involved in construction is served with a lawsuit of this nature, having a sound course of action often spells the difference between a speedy, favorable resolution and a costly, messy litigation process. Outlined below are the steps one must take after the process server makes an unwanted visit:
West Palm Beach law firms and seek legal representation – keep in mind that the allotted time period in which the defendant can answer a lawsuit is brief. In the event that the defendant fails to answer the lawsuit in a timely fashion, the plaintiff can obtain a judgment against the defendant, even if the latter is not guilty of any wrongdoing. In some states, the defendant’s contractor’s license is even suspended until the judgment is settled monetarily. The appropriately timed hiring of highly experienced construction lawyers in West Palm Beach FL can help parties being sued avoid making payments for something they are not responsible for. Moreover, doing so prevents the sued parties from losing the ability to earn money to settle the dispute.
- Contact one’s insurance broker – usually, insurance companies provide attorneys for their clients and pay the amount needed to settle a case if necessary. However, an insurance company is not obligated to do anything until notified of the claim. The best way to notify the insurance company is through the insurance broker. The insurance broker will have vital information one needs to make an insurance claim such as the effective policy period, policy number and exclusions. In addition, subcontractors are often required to identify the general contractor as an additional insured in the policy. If the plaintiff asks for this information, the insurance broker ought to have this, too. However, it is important to remember that giving your insurance broker notice of the claim may not necessarily inform the insurance company. To ensure that the company is informed, one should ask the broker to furnish him or her with copies of the letters sent on his or her behalf. It is also possible for one to inform the insurance company directly through a letter and copies of the complaint.
- Get a hold of the job file – since one will be questioned thoroughly by various West Palm Beach or Florida construction lawyers about every aspect of the construction project, it is imperative to have the job file in one’s possession. Most construction defect lawsuits are filed sometime after the completion of a construction job, and it is quite difficult to remember the specific details of a project. Blueprints, contracts, requests for information, inspection reports, and other documents created during the course of the building process are the best sources of information related to the project. Attorneys from West Palm Beach Law Firms and insurance carriers will most definitely ask for this data.