Q: WHAT CAN I DO AS A HOME OWNER RIGHT NOW? A: The most important thing to do for any kind of litigation is to preserve evidence for your case. This means, preserve any contracts (make a digital copy too), take pictures, make video recordings, make audio recordings, keep emails, and/or text messages. To expedite the demand and notice process, obtain estimates from licensed and bonded contractors (doing the leg work here also can save you money on up front attorney's fees).
Q: WHAT ARE MY REMEDIES? A: If you are a homeowner: under Indiana law as long as proper notice and demand are sent, the requisite timelines pass, and the contractor does not properly respond, you could be awarded three times your actual damages and attorney's fees. If you are a contractor: if you follow the statutes and are still sued, it may be possible to recoup attorney's fees depending on a number of factors, including if such a provision exists in your contract. If a court deems a homeowner's suit frivolous, you may have a statutory basis to collect fees.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? A: Every case has different facts--even if it involves a contractor or homeowner we have dealt with previously. If parties agree there are issues and are eager to save capital, we are often successful in getting an early resolution prior to filing suit. If insurance is involved, that can protract the timeline. If suit is necessary, a typical home improvement claim can take 1-1.5 years until we reach a resolution. Factors outside our control like COVID 19 has expanded that timeframe by about 6 months.
Q: WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH? A: Every case is different and the results ultimately depend on a number of factors, including what your actual damages are, if you prevail at trial or some other dispositive stage of litigation, and what if any statutory multipliers are awarded. Actual damages are essentially the calculable out of pocket expenses you have incurred. They can be affected by value of work conferred and a number of other factors.