How can I tell if my home or commercial property was constructed properly or is suffering from original construction defects?
If Downey Law undertakes to represent you, it will retain a licensed inspector or construction professional to inspect your home or commercial property at its expense. However, to make the initial determination, you should confirm whether you have evidence of moisture intrusion (water stains, chipping or flaking paint, mold, mildew, uneven floors, soft spots in floors, musty smell, saturated areas in the lawn near the structure), or cracking in the brick, stucco, masonry, concrete slabs, concrete or tile floors, counters, cabinets, moldings, and trim. Any signs of “movement” in a structure are cause for concern. Additionally, what initially appears to be nothing more than “poor workmanship” may be evidence of a more serious and ongoing problem which progressively will worsen.
Following my injury, how should I proceed with obtaining medical care?
If you are injured while working on your job, your employer should direct you to a medical doctor for the initial treatment of your injury. However, it is important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible following your initial medical treatment in order to discuss your options for medical treatment going forward. If you are not injured while working on your job, you should seek treatment from the medical doctor available to you. You also should continue to follow up with the medical doctors providing you treatment as your symptoms persist. All too often, businesses and insurance companies which insure them will assert the position that there is no evidence to support a claim that you have been injured unless you have been seen, evaluated, treated, and followed in treatment by a licensed medical doctor.
Should I sign anything?
No. If a person or company who has caused your injuries or damages attempts to have you sign something (typically, a release agreement), you should not do so until consulting with an attorney. Often, such release agreements serve to terminate your legal rights fully and forever.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The fact that you are on this site and undertaking research regarding your situation indicates that you likely need legal counsel. The better question is, “Do I need to pay a lawyer?” The answer to this question is based on your individual circumstances. On many occasions, Downey Law answers the questions of potential clients either through a telephone or office consultation without charge. Downey Law does not charge potential clients for initial consultations, and discussing and explaining options available to them. In the event that a potential client requires formal legal representation, Downey Law accepts most of its cases on a contingency fee basis in which it assumes all of the financial risks of litigation, pays all litigation expenses, and only receives reimbursement of the litigation expenses and a fee for its services if and when a recovery is obtained for its client.
Will I save money by attempting to resolve my legal problem without meeting with a lawyer?
No. Downey Law does not charge for initial consultations, whether by telephone or in the office. At the conclusion of a consultation, its potential clients will be provided with an assessment of options available to them at no charge. On occasion, potential clients of Downey Law may save money by attempting to resolve their legal matter without formally retaining legal representation. However, attempting to resolve one’s legal dispute without first consulting with and obtaining basic legal advice (which Downey Law provides through an initial consultation at no charge) can be disastrous. Insurance companies, their representatives, and their attorneys generally have a single mission – to pay you as little money as possible, if any. To accomplish this purpose, they obtain as much information from you directly, and have the benefit of nearly unlimited financial resources to achieve their goal. They generally will be friendly, courteous, and appear to be helpful in their direct dealings with you. However, claims paid by them cut into their bottom line, and they are in the business of making money.
Can I make a claim regarding construction defects with my home or commercial property after my warranty has expired?
Yes. Builders and sellers of real property have worked tirelessly in efforts to put as many favorable provisions in their written contracts as possible, so as to eliminate claims which can be made by purchasers of their properties. However, Alabama law provides for a number of avenues for recovery against builders and sellers of real property after their written warranty terms have expired. You never should take a builder or seller at his or her word should he or she represent that you cannot make a claim against a builder based on the expiration of a written warranty agreement.