Alabama is a high-risk state for termites and the damage they do to your home can be very costly and inconvenient to repair. Repair costs can reach into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars and serious structural damage may even require you to move out of your home during remediation and repair. You may think there’s nothing you can do to recover compensation for termite damage, but your pest control company, a home seller, homeowners’ insurance company or home inspector could be liable for the damage caused by a termite infestation. At Moore Law Firm, our lawyers have decades of experience fighting for our clients’ rights and can determine whether filing a termite damage claim can help you recover compensation for your losses.
What Are the Signs of Termite Damage?
Termites primarily attack the wood in your home, including flooring, door and window frames, and the frame of your house within the walls. However, termites can also attack other materials in your home, including drywall, siding, and even concrete. There are many tell-tale signs that termites have invaded your home. Sometimes you may actually see termite swarms around your home, during the termites’ mating season. You may also find piles of discarded termite wings around your home, as termites lose their wings shortly after finding a mate. If you tap on a piece of wood and it sounds hollow, this could also be evidence of termites, since they usually consume the wood from the inside out. If your doors and windows fit tightly in their frames, they could have become warped by termites. Small mud tubes in the foundation of your home also indicate a possible termite infestation, as termites often use this method to burrow in from the outside. If you notice any of these signs of termite damage, contact a pest control professional immediately.
Who Is Responsible for Termite Damage?
There are several entities that may be liable for termite damage claims when an infestation decimates a home. If you’ve recently purchased a home and the seller or home inspector concealed termite damage, they may be responsible for paying to have it remediated and repaired. A professional pest control company may also be liable if they did not detect termites or their treatment was ineffective. Although many homeowners’ insurance policies cover termite damage, the language in these policies is often convoluted and homeowners aren’t even aware that they have coverage. Even if you are covered, there is a very good chance that your termite damage claim will be denied. That’s why it is vital to seek the counsel of an experienced termite attorney who can help you recover the full amount of compensation to which you may be entitled, and possibly help you file a termite damage lawsuit.
How do I Get Compensation from My Pest Control Company for Termite Damage?
Even if you’re fed up with your pest control company, don’t cancel your agreement until you obtain the advice of legal counsel. Pest control companies often have contracts with ambiguous language that seeks to limit damages and suppresses your right to file a termite damage claim. Our termite damage lawyers are well-versed in Alabama law and go over these contracts with a fine-toothed comb to see if your pest control company used unfair disclaimers of liability. It’s also important to provide as with us much documentation as possible, including treatment reports, photos of the termite infestation, damage to your home and pieces of damaged wood. This valuable evidence can help us develop effective legal strategies to recover compensation for your losses. While many termite companies use correct chemicals to prevent/treat termite infestation, there have been instances of fraud where companies do not use correct chemicals or chemicals at all which put your property at risk. Once a claim is turned in, they find a way to deny the claim. This is why you need legal representation immediately to preserve evidence and to fight these companies to get the compensation you deserve.
How to File a Claim for Termite Damage with the Insurance Company
Submitting a claim for termite damage to your insurance company can be daunting. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and will most likely deny your claim from the get-go or offer an inadequate settlement amount. Our termite attorneys will carefully review your policy and help you understand your rights. Even if your policy has specific termite exclusions and your claim is denied, there may be viable legal remedies to recover compensation. At Moore Law Firm, we having extensive experience battling with insurance companies and winning. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients in cases involving other types of homeowners insurance claims, car accidents, premises liability, product liability and other matters involving personal injury and property damage.
How Can I Hold the Seller of My House Accountable for Termite Damage?
Unfortunately, Alabama law does not require sellers to provide a list of defects to potential homebuyers but there are exceptions to this rule. If a homebuyer inquires about a specific defect such as a pest infestation, the seller is required by law to answer honestly and disclose known defects. Failing to do so could result in the seller being liable for termite damage. If you recently bought a home that ended up having a termite infestation, you may be able to bring a claim against the seller for misrepresentation, negligence or fraud. However, you have to demonstrate that the seller knew that that the defect posed a direct threat to your health or safety, which can be very difficult to prove. These types of cases are complex and can get bogged down in legal technicalities. Having an experienced, qualified attorney by your side can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Can I Sue a Home Inspector for Termite Damage?
There are many reasons why a home inspector may not reveal the existence of termites. One reason for a faulty home inspection may be fraud, or in other words, intentional deception by the inspector. For example, if the inspector is working with a company that also offers extermination services, the inspector may withhold information about a termite problem so that the problem worsens over time. This will then allow the extermination company to come in later and provide expensive services to get rid of the termite infestation. Another common scam is for the inspector and pest control company to only partially exterminate the termites, which then allows that company to come back multiple times to the same house and reap extra profits at the homeowner’s expense.
It could also be the case that the inspector did not intend to deceive, but still gave the homeowner a faulty inspection report through his negligence. Perhaps he was just not thorough enough, or used faulty equipment, when inspecting the home. By conducting an incomplete or improper home inspection, the home inspector may have given the home a clean bill of health when in fact it was infested by termites. Termites tend to eat the wood in a house from the inside out, making it difficult for an inexperienced or ill-equipped inspector to detect them. Proving negligence or outright fraud on the part of the home inspector is difficult, but not impossible. An experienced termite lawyer at Moore Law can help you determine if you may have a legitimate termite lawsuit.
Should I Contact a Termite Lawyer About Termite Damage to My Home?
A termite infestation is a serious problem that could prevent your family from moving into a new home, or even force you out of your current home. Don’t bear the burden of paying for termite damage yourself. Recovering maximum compensation for termite damage to your home can allow you to perform the repairs you need and protect your financial security. If you believe that someone else’s deception or negligence is the cause of that damage, you should absolutely contact a lawyer to discuss your termite damage claim. Call Moore Law Firm today at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation about your termite damage claim.