An Orange County construction lawyer can explain that the statute of limitation is the timeline in which a person has the right to bring a lawsuit. If this time limit expires, the individual can be barred from bringing forth an otherwise valid claim. The statute of limitation that will apply is based on the legal theory of the case and the particular facts of the case.
Breach of Contract
One common construction defect claims that an Orange County construction attorney encounters is a breach of contract claim. This claim is based on the idea that the contractor did not follow the terms and specifications as stated in the contract. In California, such lawsuits must be commenced within four years of the breaching date for written contracts. For oral contracts, the statute of limitation is sliced in half to two years.
If a construction defect is alleged due to negligence, the statute of limitation is four years after the construction work was completed if the mistakes were patent to a normal person. If the damages were latent so that a reasonable person would not have obviously noticed them, the statute of limitation is three years from the date the damages were suffered, became evident to the property owner or were incurred by the property owner.
Fraud or Failure to Disclose
Even if a statute of limitation has expired under normal circumstances, it can be longer if fraud or a failure to disclose occurs. However, a new statute of limitation applies in these circumstances, which requires the property owner to file suit within three years from the time the fraud or failure to disclose was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
A relevant statute of limitation can be cut shorter if the parties both agree to this. Additionally, some contracts may contain provisions that mandate arbitration. Participating in arbitration does not typically mean that a person has asserted his or her claim before the applicable statute of limitation has run.
If you would like more information about this subject, contact an Orange County construction attorney from Daily Aljian LLP.