What to Do About a Home Inspection that Failed to Disclose a Major Termite Infestation
If a home inspection failed to disclose a major termite infestation, you likely have incurred several expenses that are necessary to repair your home and exterminate the infestation. A failed termite inspection could be the product of negligence or intentional. There are a variety of ways that a house inspector could profit from failing to disclose a termite infestation. If you or a family member was the victim of a negligent or fraudulent termite inspection, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore termite infestation lawyer. The diligent lawyers at Whitney, LLP have extensive experience handling a variety of failed home inspection cases. Our lawyers are here to explain what to do about a termite inspection that failed to disclose a major termite infestation.
How to Handle a Failed Termite Inspection
If you hired a house inspector to inspect your property for termites, it is reasonable to expect that they are capable of discovering a major infestation. However, an inspector may negligently or purposely ignore the signs of a termite infestation. This is why you should have a course of action if the house inspector does not detect the existence of termites in your home.
One of the first things you should do is gather and document evidence about the termite infestation. You can accomplish this by contacting a second or third inspector to investigate for termites. If one or more inspectors agree that you have termites, you should request a written report of their findings to use as evidence.
If you want to avoid hiring another termite inspector, there are various signs of termite infestation that you could look for yourself. For example, termites grow and shed wings as they advance through different life cycles. If you discover a large pile of wings and excrement that resembles small brown pellets, you may have a termite infestation.
Another way to recognize a termite infestation is to test the wood beams in your home. Some inspectors do this by using a mallet to hammer against a wood beam, if the beam sounds hollow, you may have termites. It is important to note that termites eat away at wood from the inside out. This means that you may not discover that you have structural damage until severe damage has been caused. However, a certified inspector should be able to recognize these signs before too much damage occurs.
Before you begin to have the termite damage in your home repaired, you should take detailed photographs of the damage that was caused. If you have portions of damaged wood that show clear signs of termite damage, preserve it so that you may use it as evidence in anticipation of litigation.
Once you have gathered evidence of the termite infestation, you should bring this information to an experienced Maryland termite litigation lawyer.
Suing a House Inspector for Termite Damage
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have a claim against a house inspector for fraud or negligence. Many termite inspection companies try to limit their liability by getting the homebuyer to sign an exculpatory clause. These clauses limit the homebuyer’s avenues to seek compensation from an inspector that failed to discover a termite infestation. For example, the contract may limit your damages to the amount of money you paid to have the inspector investigate for termites.
If you signed a contract with an exculpatory clause to receive a home inspection, you should bring the document to a termite damage attorney for review. Depending on the terminology in the contract, there may still be a way to pursue compensation for the damage to your home.
You should also know that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a claim against the inspector or inspection company. The reason for this is the statute of limitations that regulates the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a case. In Maryland, claims for property damage and fraud must be filed within three years. If you do not file within the time limit, you risk having the court bar your claim. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to receive additional time to file your case.
Our Maryland Termite Damage Attorneys Can Help You File Your Claim Against a Negligent Inspector
If you or a family member purchased a home with termites after relying on an inaccurate inspection, you should contact an experienced termite damage attorney. At Whitney, LLP, our termite damage lawyers will help you pursue a claim against a house inspector that did not perform their duty properly. A termite infestation can be hazardous to anyone living in a home with severe termite damage. Our lawyers will help you pursue the compensation you deserve for the damage to your home. To schedule a free legal consultation, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.