Experienced Law Firm Serving Gulf Coast Clients
Milam & Milam protects the rights and interests of individuals, businesses, and homeowners in Alabama and Florida courts. Our 25 years of combined experience allows our attorneys to take on large-scale cases in the Gulf Coast region involving condominium litigation, personal injury and wrongful death, banking, business disputes, the BP oil spill aftermath, and other civil litigation. We are familiar with the issues that arise most commonly throughout the Southeastern United States, where coastal real estate is particularly valuable. Our firm builds strong client relationships, and we emphasize effective communication with our clients, putting their needs first.
Legal Representation in Construction Defect Claims
Construction defect claims are best handled by those attorneys who possess not only traditional trial advocacy skills, but also strong negotiation skills, understanding of insurance claims, and technical knowledge. Some of our attorneys have engineering and construction backgrounds. We have successfully litigated against some of the largest developers in the Gulf Coast.
As an example of our work in this area, we have helped clients pursue claims under section 718.111 of the Florida Statutes. This law provides grounds for a condominium association in Florida to sue a developer for construction defects. Some common construction defects include water intrusion, mold, drywall cracking, concrete efflorescence and cracking, and issues with framing. Like some other states, Florida requires those bringing construction defect claims to use pre-suit procedures under Section 558.001.
The pre-suit procedure involves a claimant sending a notice of claim to the allegedly responsible contractor, subcontractor, design professional or supplier at least 60 days before filing a lawsuit, or 120 days before filing a lawsuit involving an association that represents more than 20 parcels. This notice, detailing the nature of the defects, gives that party the opportunity to resolve the claim. The statute of limitations for these claims is typically four years.
As a practical matter, it is often difficult for these claims to be resolved during the pre-suit procedure. When there are a significant number of problems in a condominium project, there many be more than one party responsible for the defects, and each of the responsible parties may have one or more insurers for the period of time the project took to reach completion. It can also take a certain amount of time for a business to get its insurer to pick up a defense and still more time for an insurer to conduct sufficient testing to agree to settle the case. By the time a construction defect lawsuit has taken place, a significant amount of investigation and expert analysis may have already taken place. Insurers may have already made a settlement offer by the end of the process. Often these offers are not what the case is worth.
Some construction defect claims contain a personal injury component, such as projects with significant water intrusion and mold. In such cases, it may also be necessary to review a claimant's medical records and take depositions of people who live in the house.
Premises Liability in Florida or Alabama
Sometimes accidents can happen on another person’s property. The first question to ask in these cases concerns a claimant's status with respect to the property. Only individuals with a certain status can assert a slip and fall or other premises liability claim.
There are three categories of claimants under Florida law: invitees, licensees and trespassers. Invitees are usually on the property for a commercial purpose or for the owner’s benefit in some other way. These visitors are owed the highest degree of care. Licensees are people who come onto the property for a social purpose, such as a dinner guest. A slightly lower duty is owed to them, but a landowner still must be vigilant with respect to their safety. By contrast, the person or entity controlling the property owes very little duty to protect trespassers, who are people on the premises without permission. Once a lawyer has advised you on which of these categories fits your situation, you can decide whether you want to pursue an injury case against the property owner.
Experienced Advocates for Southeastern Individuals, Homeowners, and Businesses
At Milam & Milam, our lawyers are dedicated to litigating claims in state and federal court that involve construction, personal injury, business, insurance, environmental law, estate planning, and other civil law matters. We have successfully represented homeowners against some of the largest developers in the Southeastern United States, and we have helped people harmed by the 2010 BP Oil Spill. Our attorneys practice in Alabama and Florida at the trial and appellate levels. Contact us by calling 251-928-0191, or request a consultation through our online form. Our office is located in Fairhope, Alabama on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. We serve clients from throughout Baldwin County as well as from Montgomery, Pensacola, Panama City, and other Gulf Coast locations.