realtor handing keys to a couple inside their new house

Do You Need a Lawyer to Buy Real Estate?

Do you really need a lawyer to buy real estate? Or is it more of a nice-to-have? This isn’t a black and white answer, but first let’s start with the high level view. 

Do You Need an Attorney to Buy Real Estate?

The short answer is that it depends. Some states require you to have an attorney to file the paperwork. Many states don’t require an attorney. To find out if your state needs one, simply ask your real estate agent. You can also look on Google, but sometimes it’s better to get your information from the direct source.

So if an attorney isn’t always required, why do so many people use them when they buy a home? In our opinion, everyone should hire an attorney when they buy or sell a house. There are two main reasons why we say that. 

Why Should You Hire an Attorney to Buy a Home?

The first reason why you should hire an attorney to help buy a house is to manage the paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a home. You want to make sure someone who knows what they’re doing is there to help you handle everything. 

Something else to keep in mind is that legal issues can come up. While your agent may be good at negotiating things, they may not be law experts.

Attorneys are also very detail-oriented. They have sharp eyes and will be able to find flaws or mistakes in the various papers involved in the transaction. A real estate agent may be trained to catch certain flaws, but a lawyer may be able to better catch flaws or mistakes within the various papers. A home is likely the largest purchase you will make in your life and you can’t be too careful.

How Do You Choose an Attorney to Work With?

Once you’ve decided you’re going to use an attorney, there are several ways to find the best one to work with. 

Look at Online Reviews – What do various reviews online say about real estate attorneys in your area? Do people give them great marks, saying they’ll work with the office again? Or do they give negative reviews saying the attorney was slow, unresponsive, hard to work with, or anything else that would make you hesitate?

Ask Your Agent- Your agent is likely closing on houses on a regular basis. They’re used to sitting in these types of meetings with attorneys and know who the good ones are. They should be able to recommend one or two good ones to you. 

Ask Friends and Family – People you know may be able to give some recommendations. The main benefit of asking them is they see it from a client perspective, just like you will. 

At the end of the day, not everyone needs a real estate attorney, but we highly recommend you invest in one, because buying a home is an expensive, complex process and having an extra set of eyes is always a good thing. If you still need an attorney to help you, please send us an email at Info@voneschlaw.com or give us a call at 714.456.9118. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Rights of Construction Workers in California

Rights of Construction Workers in California

What are the rights of construction workers in California? At a high level, here is what the law says. 

Construction Workers Have the Right to Safe Work

The construction industry is a dangerous one. Heavy equipment, heights, and big pieces of raw materials all add up to an environment that requires caution. 

Given this environment, employers are required to give their employees a safe place to work. That could mean several things:

  • Equipment should be properly maintained to help avoid failure. 
  • Workers should have sufficient safety equipment for their tasks such as hard hats, safety harnesses, and brightly colored vests. 
  • Signs indicating dangers around the worksite. 

While obvious dangers don’t need to be pointed out by the owner, it’s usually better for them to be safe than sorry.

Who Can Sue for Construction Accidents?

The first thing to know is that if the employer has worker’s compensation insurance, a general contractor’s employee can’t sue their employer under the Worker’s Compensation law. The best way for them is to submit a claim to their worker’s compensation benefits. 

This is called the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine. There are a few exceptions, but this is the general rule. The benefit to the employee is they only have to prove they were injured on-site, and not prove fault to recover benefits. 

There is a downside though. Construction workers only receive a fraction of earnings in workers’ compensation benefits and cannot recover damages due to pain and emotional distress under the law. 

This doesn’t apply to just general contractor employees. Employees of the owner cannot sue the employer for the same reasons – the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine.

Types of Damages in Construction Accident Cases

The most common types of damages recovered by the plaintiff include

  • Medical expenses
  • Estimated future medical expenses
  • Estimated future loss of wages
  • Loss of wages already incurred

Usually, experts in these fields will be brought in to estimate these values. For example, health care professionals will testify to determine estimated medical expenses. An expert in the industry or economist may be brought in to estimate the future loss of wages. 

Another type of damage, which is often seen as the most important, includes pain, suffering, and emotional distress. This is more difficult to estimate compared to lost wages or medical expenses, so each case is different. 

Punitive damages also come into play. If the plaintiff can prove the wrongdoer was malicious, fraudulent or despicable they can get punitive damages. This is meant to set an example in society and punish the wrongdoer. 

Loss of consortium is another type of damage, which can be claimed by the plaintiff’s spouse. This is to recover damages due to the loss of factors that occurred due to the injured spouse’s non-availability due to the injury. The negative experience of seeing the plaintiff suffer is also part of the loss of consortium. 

Construction accident law can get messy. While we’ve tried to cover a few of the basics here, there is a lot more to it. If you have specific questions, give us a call at 714.456.9118 or send us an email at info@voneschlaw.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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When Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

A real estate lawyer performs many important functions. Knowing when you may need the assistance of a real estate lawyer may help you avoid potential problems.

Role of a Real Estate Lawyer

A real estate lawyer may perform a number of critical functions. He or she can review contracts to determine if there are any potential risks included in them that the client is unaware of. Additionally, he or she can ensure that certain provisions are included in real estate contracts to protect the client’s interests. He or she may help prepare contracts related to the purchase or sale of residential or commercial real estate. Additionally, a lawyer can review or draft potential contracts related to restrictive covenants, easements, buyback provisions or leases.

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