Dealing with termites can be terrifying, frustrating, and costly. These creepy, crawly, destructive bugs can invade your home leaving vast amounts of damage in their wake. Repair costs can climb into the hundreds, thousands, or more depending on the size of your home and the extent of structural harm or loss imposed.
You depend on third-party sellers, inspectors, or pest control companies to inform you of signs of termite infestation or damages when you are buying or treating your home. Pest control professionals and those you enter into relationships with of a legal (i.e. contracted) nature are expected to be honest and competent in ensuring your property is safe, livable, infestation-free, and worth its’ current value in its’ present condition. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
If you are experiencing termite damage due to negligence, misrepresentation, or fraud, you may have a termite damage claim. The Alabama termite litigation lawyers at Taylor Martino are here to help. Don’t delay; it’s time to take your home back!
Homeowners in Alabama suffer from damage to their homes from both drywood and subterranean termites. The Southeastern drywood termite is most prevalent in southern Alabama while in most urban areas statewide, Eastern subterranean termites are the main culprits of damage to house structures.
Another much more aggressive and destructive breed of termite called Formosan subterranean termites has laid claim to Alabama since at least the late 1980s. Like other subterranean termites, Formosan termites build their colonies underground where the moisture keeps them hydrated. These colonies can reach into the millions and Formosan termites are also known to have secondary colonies that occur throughout damp areas of the home, such as where plumbing is present. Due to their masses, this type of termite can destroy a home’s wooden structures within mere months.
Formosan termites are most active in Mobile and Baldwin counties, according to pest control companies. But customers reported infestations in at least 12 Alabama counties, including Mobile, Baldwin, Lee, Jackson, Cullman, and Calhoun.
Termites are most likely to swarm on warmer days when the air is moist, such as after a good rain. But swarms can also happen when it’s colder if the termites have access to a heated building. The following includes swarming habits for different termite species in Alabama:
Homeowners experiencing a termite infestation might have someone else to blame for their pest-related misfortune due to fraud. Common types of termite fraud include:
If a termite infestation is known and you ask, the former owner is required to tell you about it. If you discover it after moving in, you will need to gather evidence that they knew and chose to willingly withhold the information.
Inspections aren’t fail-proof. Sometimes, an inspector might overlook signs of termite infestation. Other times, they might simply neglect to complete a thorough investigation. And finally, some companies working in conjunction with pest control businesses might intentionally withhold information about pest problems to later drive up costs for a kickback. If termites are found and it can be shown that the inspection company knew or reasonably should have known about it, they might be responsible for resulting damage.
Some pest control companies might plant evidence of a termite infestation (i.e. shed wings or waste pellets) to charge you for a costly, and completely unnecessary, treatment.
Pest control companies might opt to use diluted or cheap chemicals that only kill termites it directly comes into contact with but leaves behind the colony to encourage future damages and the need for additional treatments.
Sometimes, a pest control inspector might overbid the work needed to rid you of a minor pest problem. They may recommend a high-priced fumigation service when a less expensive treatment would have been just as effective at eradicating the contained nuisance.
It might not be termites, but you get charged for unneeded termite treatment. A trained pest control inspector should be able to easily tell the difference. Receiving a bid for treatment you don’t need can be negligence due to incompetency or an intentional ploy to get you to overpay.
It’s important to fully understand the terms and conditions of your pest control contract. Know if you are paying for the company to control your problem or fully eradicate it.
In December 2019, Terminix was ordered to pay nearly $2.2 million to the owners of a historic home in south Alabama due to fraud. The award was handed down at an arbitration trial and intended to compensate the homeowners for termite damage repairs, punitive damages (i.e. pain and suffering or emotional distress), and attorney fees and expenses at about 33 times the amount of what Terminix said they should have to pay.
The arbitrator made its’ decision after it ultimately determined that in 38 years, Terminix failed to ever treat the home properly. It was also found that this was not a mere oversight but instead an intentional business strategy.
If you believe you are a victim of termite fraud, an Alabama Termite Damage Lawyer at Taylor Martino is available to help you. We will evaluate your case and determine if you are eligible to file a termite damage claim.
Undoing damage from termites is a costly and sometimes lengthy venture. It’s important to get the compensation you deserve to start repairing your house so you and your family can safely call it “home” again.
Don’t wait until you’re in over your head with bills or out of your home due to extensive termite damage; contact us today! We are ready and waiting to hear from you! We offer a free consultation with an Alabama Termite Damage Lawyer to help you evaluate your options and decide if a termite lawsuit is the right course of action for you.