If you have termites, you have probably tried a lot of things to get rid of them. You may have paid a termite company to inspect your house, but they missed obvious signs of infestation. Often, you have already worked with an exterminator, but the bugs came back. Is there anything you can do?
There may be. If you believe the termite company committed fraud, you could be entitled to damages. That might involve recovering damages above and beyond the cost of the damage to your home.
How do you know if a termite exterminator has committed fraud? There are four main types of fraud that termite lawyers see:
Fraud during an inspection: Termite inspection companies may fail to thoroughly inspect the home and miss evidence of a termite infestation. Or, they may miss obvious evidence of infestation during an annual inspection. This could be due to lack of sufficient training or other issues. If the company’s failure went beyond mere negligence, it could be fraud.
Reporting fraud: Before you bought your home, you should have received a wood infestation report from a termite company. Sometimes, termite inspectors falsify these reports, keeping you from knowing the true condition of your home. Intentionally falsifying such a report could easily be considered fraud.
Fraud in termite treatment: If you hired a termite company to remediate an infestation, you expect them to do a complete, thorough job. Sometimes, the company fails to completely treat the building and this failure goes beyond mere negligence. Sometimes, the company knew or should have known that they were using an insufficient quantity of the required chemicals. In other cases, companies have fraudulently said they have applied the chemicals when they never actually dispensed any chemicals at all. This gives the termites more time to damage your home.
Failure to honor their contract to repair the damage: If you have discovered termites, you want to do what is necessary to eradicate them as soon as possible and then repair any damage. Sometimes, termite companies say they will repair the damage but fail to do an adequate job. Or, they may say that fewer repairs are necessary than is actually the case. This can go beyond mere negligence to actual fraud.
Liability insurance means lawyers
Pest control companies are supposed to have liability insurance to cover them when they make mistakes. The company’s insurer will often provide attorneys to defend the company, and those attorneys can be very effective.
If you think a termite control company has committed fraud and harmed you, you may have legal rights to protect. Be aware that termite companies are not on your side. They will fight to avoid liability.
You need a lawyer, too. You should work with someone who knows the process of holding termite companies responsible for fraud and who is ready, willing and able to go to court.
Your home is probably your largest investment. Finding out that it is threatened by termites means more than pure financial harm. It means worry, concern and mental anguish. If a termite company’s fraud is responsible for letting the damage get worse, you may have the right to compensation for the damage to your home and for the emotional damage.