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Who Should Be Held Legally Responsible for Defects in Construction?

California Attorneys Help Workers Injured by Defects

Determining who should be held responsible in a construction accident is complex and challenging, especially if it involves defects. As one of the most dangerous and essential professions, construction workers face higher risks of injury through no fault of their own. When heavy machinery and poor building plans are involved, the chances of experiencing a fatal accident increase significantly. While there may be several safety measures in place on site nothing can prepare you for the unexpected. When it seems like everything is out of your control after getting injured, reach out to a construction injury attorney in Los Angeles. There is no amount to make up for your injuries or loss, but it can ease the financial burden.

What is a Construction Defect?

Construction defects are common. Most may be reported as minor and inconsequential, while others can be dangerous and risk hurting others or further damaging the property itself. Unfortunately, defects go unreported until an accident happens, or they are discovered long after a project. If you were wounded before or were recently injured from defective equipment or unnecessary hazards, reach out to a lawyer for construction litigation in LA.

As a construction worker, you may already be familiar with construction defects. There are two main types: defects that occur during the design, and defects that happen during the building process. Architects or engineers are responsible for defects involved in the design of the construction project. Builders on the other hand, have a different obligation. General contractors are liable for products that fail to work or operate within accepted industry standards, and the safety of subcontractors to carry out the job. The supporting construction crew work on the project while ensuring the foundation of the building will be safe for use upon competition.

Detecting the Issue

When the type of construction defect is determined, they can be classified one of two ways: patent or latent. Patent defects are easy to place during an inspection. Normally a contractor may spot it on a surface level. Normally repairs are quick and non-invasive. Latent defects are hidden, and not as easy to find during a regular inspection. They are high risks beneath the surface that can result in significant challenges moving forward. For a better understanding of defects, we break it down further by design and production.

Design Defects – design defects are caused when the designer fails to produce accurate construction blueprints. Defects are embedded in the plan and require redesigns when addressed.

Building Error – these defects occur when a contractor fails to build according to the construction documents. It can risk the structural integrity of the building or cause unexpected accidents on site. Determining liability for this can be challenging when there are several skilled employees on the job.

Legal Concepts to Know in Construction Defect Cases

In construction, regulation alone is not enough to prevent defects or machine-related accidents from happening. Inadequate inspections or maintenance can lead to disastrous injuries. When it comes to reporting an incident and filing a lawsuit, there is a lengthy legal process involved. Depending on the defect, lawsuits may include several defendants. This will require your attorney for construction injuries in LA to negotiate with several insurance companies, fact check intensively, and investigate on your behalf. Two legal concepts to be aware of are:

Contracts: construction defect claims are based on contract. Depending on the project, there may be more than one involved.

  • The building owner has a contract with an architect to design plans.
  • A designer will enter a contract with engineers to review blueprints and make sure they comply with standards.
  • Premises owners will contract with a general contractor to begin the plan.
  • General contractors will contract with a dozen subcontractors (crew) to bring the plans to fruition.

Each contract will include stipulations to indicate what each group is responsible for. During negotiation, it is vital for all parties involved to pay attention to the liability clause. Responsibility for damages passes down the chain from designer to subcontractors. In this case, everyone will be held accountable when something happens.

Indemnification: When liability is transferred to everyone involved, it is done through “indemnification” provisions. For example, if a general contractor indemnifies an architect for a liability, the contractor is guaranteeing if there is a lawsuit, he/she will pay for judgment against the architect. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney of the injured victim will reach out to negotiate a settlement, in this case.

Liability for Construction Defects

Unlike regular legal cases, defect lawsuits are unique because liability can be transferred between designers to subcontractors. Everyone that agrees to the job can share responsibility at a moment’s notice. Read on for a few scenarios:


  • When internal structures, like a staircase, are poorly planned and set up in a way that offers individuals no visual warning. An architect is liable if someone falls and gets hurt.
  • If a designer fails to indicate where water and gas lines are located on planning documents and a subcontractor gets injured from an accidental collision and explosions.


  • When a building or structure collapses immediately after project completion because of poor specifications.
  • An engineer is liable even if there are no building errors. If a roof caves in on a house, it is the engineer’s plan that the subcontractors followed.

General Contractor

  • General contractors are responsible for negligent acts, like working alone without subcontractors and not adhering to safe working conditions on or off site.

Property Owner

  • Although property owners are likely to file a claim against construction workers, they can be found liable for visiting the construction site frequently to have a hands-on role in the process. The consequences can be severe when something goes wrong.


  • Subcontractors complete the architect and engineer’s plan. Using substandard materials to build a roof is one example.
  • Another example is if a fellow construction worker falls out the window because it wasn’t properly secured.

Workplace injuries are never easy to deal with. Reach out to a construction defect lawyer in LA right away if you were hurt in an accident. We will use the legal system for your benefit and protect your rights.

About Grey Law

“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey

When you or a loved one are injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in several practice areas:

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Premises Accidents
  • Personal Injuries
  • Product Liability
  • Nursing Home Abuse

 Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be difficult to choose the right legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email

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