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Hurricane damage and construction claims

Hurricane season begins officially on June 1, and if a tropical storm or stronger system blows over the peninsula, residents in Fort Lauderdale are likely to be in the punch zone. Long-time Floridians are accustomed to the possibility of wind and water damage to their homes, but there are ways to better protect homes from possible hurricane damage.

Modern building plans and processes can reduce, if not fully eliminate, the damage that occurs during such storms. Newer roofing designs reduce the chance of home tops blowing away during high winds, and builders in Florida often use special materials that are proven to withstand winds. How do builders and scientists know these construction methods and resources hold up to hurricane-like forces? Some facilities, such as the Institute for Business and Home Safety, have the capability to test residential buildings at full scale in such environments.

It's obviously important to note that no home in a hurricane-prone area is 100 percent safe, and certain weather conditions cause destruction and damage to the best constructed buildings. That being said, if you are paying for construction that is supposed to withstand tropical storm winds, and your walls collapse during a minor tropical storm, then chances are something is wrong. You might have a case for a construction defect that could help you cover any losses you suffered associated with the damage to the building or home.

It can be difficult to tell where liability falls in such cases, though. How much is the fault of construction and materials, and how much is simply the unpredictable destruction of Mother Nature? By working with an experienced Florida construction law professional, you can begin drawing lines to determine if you might have a claim.

Source: University of Rhode Island, "Homeowner Perspective. What can a hurricane do to a home?," accessed May 24, 2016

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