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Is there a time limit for construction litigation?

After a construction project is substantially completed, landowners often perceive a gap between the work that was contracted for and how it was completed. When the landowner is dissatisfied with the results, or if the construction is dangerously flawed, and negotiations go nowhere, the customer might want to consider construction litigation. For the contractor, this can be an expensive and worrisome proposition with a defense necessary.

A question that is often asked centers around the statute of limitations to file a case. How long is too long for a customer to complain about a perceived problem in the construction? What if the customer does not discover the problem until after construction is completed and tenants have moved in?

Under Alabama law, litigation generally must commence within two years after the issue came about. There can be no relief for a case that accrued or would have accrued beyond seven years after the project was completed. The exception is if those involved in the planning or construction were previously aware of the deficiency or defect and did not disclose it to the person who hired the contractor and did not repair it.

In construction litigation, recovery can be sought for: defects or deficiencies in how the project was designed, planned, its specifications, its administration, or observation of a defect or deficiency in the improvement of an existing structure; damage to personal or real property that came about because of a deficiency or defect; or an injury or fatality to a person because of a deficiency or defect.

Construction projects can be complicated for the customer and the contractor. When there are defects or other problems, many will want to consider a lawsuit. It is important for both the customer and the contractor to have a grasp on the basic laws for these circumstances. If the time limit passed or the contractor is accused of knowing about the defect or deficiency beforehand, there are alternatives to file a case. From the perspective of the customer and the contractor, having legal assistance is imperative and a law firm that has experience in all areas of construction litigation is crucial.