Is Nearby Construction Damaging Your Home?
If there’s a construction project on property that is adjacent to yours, and your own home or property is damaged by that construction work, what is your recourse?
Since September of 2016, the Rio Hondo lift bridge has been closed for $12.4 million worth of repairs.
Speaking for the Texas Department of Transportation, Octavio Saenz told the Valley Morning Star that it will now be June or July before the Rio Hondo lift bridge can officially reopen.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH THE RIO HONDO LIFT BRIDGE?
The bridge repairs and the scheduled reopening have been good news for almost everyone in the Rio Hondo area – almost everyone, that is, except for Miguel Medrano, who resides with his family and owns a home directly adjacent to the ongoing construction.
Vibration-inducing construction work – including excavating, pile driving, blasting, and jackhammering, can shake adjacent properties like an earthquake and cause severe, earthquake-like vibration damages to those properties.
Since the Rio Hondo lift bridge construction began, cracks have started appearing in the floors and walls of the Medrano home – cracks caused by the powerful vibrations generated by construction equipment, Mr. Medrano says.
A film of dust frequently covers Mr. Medrano’s vehicles as well. When he filed a property damage claim with the contractor’s insurance company, that claim was denied.
WHAT IS MR. MEDRANO’S RECOURSE?
Does Miguel Medrano have legal options?
Yes, he does. Mr. Medrano’s predicament was recently featured in a KRGV-TV news story.
Experienced Edinburg property claims attorney Chris Brasure was also interviewed for that news story.
Attorney Brasure explained that anyone who is in Mr. Medrano’s situation could sue the offending contractor for trespassing.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that there can be a trespass without a person or a vehicle actually entering another person’s property,” the attorney explained to KRGV.
He also explained that vibrations that travel through the ground and dust that travels in the air could be considered a trespass when the vibrations or dust move to another property and cause quantifiable property damage.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT VIBRATIONS ARE DAMAGING YOUR HOME?
Listed here are the most common indications that your home is being damaged by vibrations:
– cracks appearing in the walls, ceiling, foundation, or patio
– windows or doors that are now misaligned or do not shut properly
– a sudden failure of electricity, plumbing, or another underground utility
– damage to the roof
Mr. Medrano tells KRGV that he is currently seeking and collecting repair estimates so that he will know how much to request when he takes legal action against the contractor.
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
Generally speaking, in the state of Texas, no one can use a property in a way that damages an adjacent property, and this includes any construction work or repair work that may damage an adjacent property.
If your own property is being damaged by an ongoing construction project, and if the contractor and the contractor’s insurance company will not help you, you may be able to take legal action against the landowner and/or the construction company.
If your property is being damaged by adjacent construction, contact an Edinburg property claims attorney to learn more – or to launch legal action to protect your home and property.