Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of law do you practice?
Canepa, Riedy, Abele, & Fischer represents people who have been injured or harmed because of home or product defects, consumer or insurance fraud and all personal injury cases including but not limited to Automobile/Truck/ Motorcycle, Premises liability, Medical Negligence, and Security.
2. Why should I hire your firm?
We are a small firm with an excellent reputation for successfully resolving complex cases for people who have been injured, harmed or neglected by businesses, insurers and others who put their own interests above the public interest.
Over the last 20+ years, our firm has recovered over $750,000,000.00 on behalf of aggrieved individuals through negotiations, litigation, trial and appellate work. We screen our cases carefully and limit the number of cases that we take. As a result, we have an exemplary track record for success.
3. Where do you practice?
We practice primarily in Nevada. However, we handle cases in other states and enjoy good professional relationships with other lawyers across the United States.
4. What do you charge?
Initial consultations are free of charge and do not require any commitment. If retained we generally work on a contingent fee basis and advance all costs reasonable and necessary to succeed. But we are open to other arrangements as well. We are also open to referral arrangements from other lawyers.
5. What is the best way to get a hold of you?
The best way to reach us is to leave us a confidential, privacy email response on this website, or on our general firm website at www.canepariedy.com. Our policy is to return communications within 1 business day.
1. What is a construction defect?
A construction defect is a design, construction or under law, a construction defect occurs when material condition that violates industry standards the construction of a home is done in violation of law (including building codes) or causes injury or damage to property, creates an unreasonable risk of injury or damage to property. A defect also includes construction not done in a good and workmanlike manner, or construction that poses a threat of injury to person or property..
2. Wasn't my home inspected by a building inspector?
Building inspectors do the best they can, but see only a small fraction of the construction process. Inspectors do “spot” inspections, and typically see one to two percent of the total construction. Also, building inspectors cannot control what happens after they have performed their inspections and have left the site. By law, an inspection and approval by a building inspector is no guarantee that construction meets the Code, and builders may not avoid a construction defect claim by simply arguing that construction was inspected.
3. Can the city building department be held liable for construction defects?
The short answer is no. Except in extraordinary circumstances, not present in most cases, building departments enjoy governmental immunity..
4. What is the statute of limitations for construction defects?
In Nevada there are statutes of limitation and statutes of repose. Generally, the statute of limitation expires four years after you become aware of a defect. Starting in mid-February of 2016, statutes of repose expire six years after construction of your residence.
Some legal warranties that apply specifically to homeowners associations run six years from the date of completion of the residence, but can be shortened down to two years by agreement of the parties. You should consult with a lawyer about your specific situation.
5. Will a construction defect claim prevent me from selling my home?
No. There is nothing about the existence of a claim that prevents you from selling your property to someone else. While some lenders will not make loans on homes that are the subject of a construction defect claim, other lenders will. It is important to disclose the existence of the claim and all defects of which you are aware so that a purchaser may make an informed decision. Hundreds of our prior clients have successfully sold their properties during the pendency of their construction defect claims.
6. If the builder elects to repair defects, how do I know if the repairs are adequate?
By law, if your builder elects to repair, it is required, 30 days after repairs, to provide a written statement describing the nature and extent of the repairs, the methods used to repair the defects, and any materials or parts that were replaced during the repair. It is also prudent for you to have an independent expert observe the repair process to ensure that the statement of repairs matches actual repairs made by your builder.
7. What if the repairs fail?
By law, an election to repair may not be conditioned upon a release of liability. In other words, if the builder elects to repair defects, then the statutes of limitation start all over again with respect to those repairs. If the repairs fail, a legal claim can be brought against the builder.
8. If my builder doesn't repair the defects, does he have insurance to pay for the repairs?
Although not required by law, most builders carry general liability insurance that covers damages caused by construction defects. A claim against the builder triggers the insurance coverage.
9. What if my builder goes out of business or files for bankruptcy protection?
If a builder ceases to do business or seeks the protection of the bankruptcy courts, it does not affect a construction defect claim against the builder’s available insurance policy. By law, insurance companies have an obligation to pay covered damages even if their insured is out of business or bankrupt.
10. Do I really need a lawyer to help me with my construction defect claim?
Because builders possess superior knowledge of construction codes, workmanship standards, and the law related to construction defect claims, we believe it is good business judgment for homeowners to have competent attorneys on their side to help level the playing field. Some builders try to avoid a comprehensive inspection of a home or want to make band-aid repairs. Lawyers, and the architects and engineers hired by them, can give solid advice on these subjects. Also, under Nevada law, homeowners and Associations are entitled to recover expert costs in addition to the costs to repair construction defects.
1. I was involved in an accident but didn’t break any bones. Do I need a lawyer?
There are many significant injuries which can occur to the human body without breaking any bones. Known as “soft-tissue” injuries these injuries are insidious and can have long –lasting and sometimes permanent complications. The most serious involve micro-tears to the muscles and ligaments of the affected body parts. These tears can result in the formation of scar tissue, weakening the structures and putting you at risk for subsequent injuries.
It is extremely important that a complete medical work-up be performed as soon as possible by a competent physician, and that appropriate therapies and treatment be started without delay.
2. The insurance adjuster just called and offered me $500 to settle my claim. Why do I need a lawyer?
Under Nevada Personal Injury Law, if you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you are entitled to fair and just compensation for your injuries, which includes medical expenses, time-lost from work, pain, suffering and inconvenience and any other damages specific to your claim. Ultimately, the fair and reasonable value of your claim is what a Nevada jury would likely award you under similar facts.
3. I was injured on the property of a local hotel/casino. How long do I have to seek a recovery?
In Nevada most general negligence actions must be filed within 2 years of the date of injury. However, depending on the circumstances of each case, these time frames may be more or less.
Personal injury actions can be varied and complex. They can involve dangerous conditions of property for example, or product liability in the case of a chair collapse. In any injury case elements of medical malpractice can be mixed in, and each of these potential claims can have a different time frame for seeking recovery.
That is why, if you have suffered ANY injury through no fault of your own, you should immediately consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, to fully understand your rights and the critical time frames which can affect your ability to seek recovery.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Insurance Bad Faith
1. What does “Bad Faith” mean when dealing with insurance?
You pay premiums to your insurance company for the purpose of protecting you from life’s challenges. In Nevada, and most states, insurance companies are required to deal with policyholders and their claims, fairly and in good faith. Insurance companies commit “Bad Faith” when they engage in unfair practices such as :
- Failing to promptly, fairly and thoroughly investigate a claim.
- Failing to provide justification for denying a claim.
- Failing to offer the full value of a claim’s worth.
- Failing to settle a claim when it should have and could have done so.
2. Why do insurance companies commit “Bad Faith”?
Insurance companies have a self-interest to not pay claims. The less money they pay out, the greater their profits. Companies receive thousands of claims daily and wrongfully deny many of them. Very few people actually dispute their claim, which keeps millions of dollars with the company. If an insurance company refuses to pay your claim, denies payment or offers an insufficient amount, you should strongly consider consulting an experienced lawyer to enforce the insurance company’s obligations. You should never represent yourself against an insurance company or accept an unfair settlement offer.
3. How do I know if I have a “Bad Faith” claim?
If you suspect that your insurance company is delaying your claim, or repeatedly offering you amounts which are unreasonably low, or otherwise treating you unfairly, the only way you can truly know if there is “Bad Faith” is to consult with an experienced lawyer about your situation. The attorneys at Canepa, Riedy, Abele, & Fischer are well versed in all aspects of insurance company performance. We will accept nothing less than absolute compliance with the insurance contract. We are here to protect your interests, and to ensure that you receive 100% of the insurance benefits you have paid for.
4. What can I recover if I sue my insurance company for “Bad Faith”?
If the Court or a jury finds that your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim, or has otherwise dealt with you unfairly, you would be eligible to recover the benefits of the policy for the claim, and possibly consequential losses and damages suffered for emotional distress, lost income and attorney fees. In some cases where the insurance company has exhibited flagrant, intentional or malicious conduct, punitive damages can be awarded.