Accident in a New Home? Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you buy a new home, you likely assume that everything works great and will not need any immediate repair. Walking into your new, clean home gives you that reassurance that everything is in working order.
But, what if it isn’t? What if the floorboards are weak and you fall through? Or if the plumbing is installed wrong and it causes damage to the rest of your home? What do you do? One of your first phone calls should be to a personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach.
Your Contract for Your Newly Constructed Home
You likely contracted your newly constructed home with a business or contractor. That means if your home is not built the way that you would like, then your remedy would be under contract law.
Your number one argument is likely going to be that the builder or contractor breached their contract with you. Then, you can assert damages under this theory.
Is there a Buyer Beware Rule?
Home buying in the United States, and Florida, used to be a much more dangerous process. The Courts were not friendly toward buyers, and buyers bought a home “at their own risk”.
Now, thankfully, sellers have to make disclosures that let buyers know about potential problems with the home and any repairs that they may have made.
Without this requirement, sellers used to hand the home over to the new owner without telling them about all of the hidden problems of the home. This is one of the main reasons a home inspection is important before you buy. Keep in mind though, even a very thorough inspection likely will not catch everything.
The situation is a bit different when you are buying a new home. The standard that we hold contractors to is even higher than we do for the prior homeowner.
Fighting Back Against Shoddy Work
In situations where you or your property (like your furniture or other belongings) have been damaged, you may have a personal injury case based on tort law instead of a contract theory.
In Florida, when a contractor or builder sells a home, he or she is asserting that the home has been built in a “reasonably workmanlike manner”. That means everything works as it should and you can live it in without fear of injury.
In the unfortunate circumstance that an injury does occur, the contractor or builder may be liable based on a breach of their duty to you. If you fall through the floor as you walk in, chances are you will have a good suit against your builder.
This may also be the case if your property (that is not attached to the home) has been damaged as well. For example, if your basement ends up retaining water and damaging your personal items, then that would likely be grounds for suit as well.
The “reasonably workmanlike manner” standard is an “implied warranty.” That means it’s safe for you to assume you can use the house as a livable home. You may also have an “express warranty” in the contract for your home as well. If there is an express warranty, it would be interpreted under contract law instead of tort law.
Read more about these different types of warranties here.
Getting Legal Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Accident in a New Home
If you have been injured by your new home, you may have a personal injury case. There are certain limitations under Florida law to this type of claim, however. That means you will need the skill and expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach.