HOW GOOD IS MY CASE?
Most people who anticipate filing a lawsuit want to know how good their case is. They don’t want to invest time and the expense of hiring a lawyer if there is not a reasonable chance of collecting damages. A good lawyer should be able to quickly evaluate a client’s case and give the client an opinion as to his/her chance of success. The factors most lawyers use in evaluating real estate defect cases are as follows:
The buyer often has a case if the problem showed up fairly soon after the purchase of the house;
If the problem shows up many years later, it doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a case, but proof becomes more difficult.
The extent of the problems is also a factor lawyers take into consideration. Major problems make for a stronger case. If the problems are very limited or small, the case is not as strong.
With regard to misrepresentation cases, a clear misrepresentation makes for a good case. Seller misrepresentation cases are much stronger with witnesses, like tenants or neighbors, who will say that the problem existed before the sale.
Another factor the lawyers take into consideration is the cost of repairs. If the repairs are fairly expensive, it may justify litigation. Inexpensive repairs are something that home buyers must deal with.
The frequency of the problem also determines the strength of the case. If significant water comes into the basement ever time it rains, the case is a much stronger case than if the water comes into the basement only once a year. Dramatic photographs are also an indicator of a good case. Dramatic photographs showing significant problems are very persuasive.