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Addressing construction defects in Maryland

Unfortunately, sometimes construction companies make construction errors, resulting in defects that can lead to structural and other problems. People are able to file a construction defect claim in order to recover damages, as long as they file the claim within Maryland's applicable statute of limitations.

Construction defects may be patent, meaning they are obvious and visible, or latent, meaning they are hidden. Latent defects may later become patent ones. Signs that a construction error resulted in a defect include such things as cracks in foundations and walls, poor drainage, drafty windows, gaps, tripping electrical panels, pooling water in lawns, flickering lights and heating and cooling units that make strange noises.

In order to recover damages, the owner must prove that the patent or latent defect exists. They must file within the statute of limitations, which is three years from the date of the injury or no later than 10 years after the improvement if the defendant is an architect, contractor or engineer. For all other cases, the claim must be filed no later than 20 years after the improvement became available.

In order to prove the existence of a defect, people often hire a qualified expert to document the existence of the defect. The expert can then be called as a witness in court. When people believe there are construction defects in their property, they may benefit by meeting with a real estate lawyer who may be able to help his or her clients by locating expert witnesses, arranging inspections and filing civil lawsuits. An attorney may be able to answer questions regarding the statute of limitations and the availability of damages.

Source: Succeed With Contractors, "Construction Errors have Claim Statute by State", Jason Allan, November 02, 2014

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