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Business Owners Can File Property Damage Claims Due to Adjacent Construction

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Although we may hate to admit it, big cities wouldn’t be the same without the noise of construction. The constant changing of urban environments brings new industry and developments every day—but for nearby businesses, construction can cause damage to their inventory, structures, and bottom lines.

There are many ways nearby construction can cause damage to a business, including:

  • Property loss. Buildings and surrounding businesses cannot close simply because a new structure is being built in their neighborhood. Many stores near a construction site will suffer high noise levels that lead to loss of clientele and daily losses of inventory (such as broken mirrors or bottles falling off shelves).
  • Ground vibration. One of the biggest hazards of heavy construction is vibration damage. Construction machinery (such as pile drivers) can produce vibration waves as they compact soil, which can travel through the ground to adjacent properties. These waves can displace soil, cause underground cavities to collapse, and damage the foundations of existing structures.
  • Groundwater distortion. Excavations at a construction site often require rerouting and draining the groundwater to build foundations. These changes in groundwater levels may keep the construction site dry, but can cause sinkholes, flooding of nearby areas, and further shifting of the soil beneath buildings if they are not maintained carefully.

How Can I Get Reimbursed for the Damage to My Business?

Although adjacent construction damage is a well-known risk of building a new structure, some construction companies will claim that the damage to a nearby building was due to some other factor, such as existing cracks in the foundation that the business owner never repaired. As very few existing buildings are completely free of underlying structural distress, it can be difficult for a business owner to prove that damage was entirely caused by a nearby construction project.

It is important that any property damage to an existing business undergo a full damage analysis to investigate all potential causes. Many builders are required to perform pre-construction surveys of adjacent properties (including mapping any cracks or existing faults) prior to starting construction. Using survey information, building inspections, and photographs of the pre- and post-accident damage, we can determine the cause of your property losses to get you the maximum compensation for repairs. Call Wayne Wright LLP today at 800-237-3334 to have us explain your legal options in your free consultation!


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