Can You Sue a Negligent Home Inspector?
Posted in Insurance on July 16, 2020
A home inspection is one of the necessary steps toward purchasing a property in Tampa. It is an in-depth inspection of a house and its features to affirm that it is sound, with all major systems in proper working order. The report you receive from a home inspector will give you the information you need to decide whether or not to buy a property, as well as how much money to offer based on any required repairs. If a home inspector makes a critical mistake that negatively affects you, he or she may owe you financial compensation.
When Is a Home Inspector Liable?
A home inspector could be liable, or legally responsible, for your damages if the inspector missed any problems with the home during an inspection. Skipping items on a checklist could make the inspector liable for issues such as leaks or faulty electrical wires that later cause a flood or fire. If another home inspector would have noticed the issue and included it on a home inspection report, the defendant may be liable for your losses. It will be your duty – or that of your attorney – to prove fault as the plaintiff of a claim against a home inspector in Florida.
- A professional relationship between you and the home inspector. You must establish that the inspector owed you a professional duty of care at the time of the inspection through a business agreement or contract.
- A breach of duty of care by the home inspector. The home inspector must have made an error that another reasonable inspector in the same position would not have made, such as missing a critical problem with the property.
- A link between the inspector’s negligence and your damages. The inspector’s lapse in judgment or mistake must be the proximate (main) cause of the damages you are claiming; your damages would not have happened but for the inspector’s negligence.
- You have compensable damages because of the inspector’s mistake. Finally, the home inspector’s error must have caused specific losses, such as money you otherwise would not have spent on a home or damage repairs.
If you or your Tampa homeowner insurance claims lawyer can prove these four elements more likely to be true than untrue, the courts may force the home inspector to pay for your related damages. A lawyer can help you fulfill the burden of proof by offering evidence such as photographs, the original inspection report and testimony from relevant experts, such as seasoned home inspectors. A successful lawsuit against a home inspector in Florida could result in compensation for your property repairs, out-of-pocket costs, legal fees, inconvenience and other damages.
How to File a Claim Against a Home Inspector
A home inspection should catch significant problems such as faulty wiring, pipe leaks, structural damage, holes in the roof, plumbing problems, poor drainage, mold or water damage, termite damage, wood rot, HVAC failures, asbestos, and lead paint. A thorough inspection done correctly can give you peace of mind with the knowledge that you know what you are buying and paid a reasonable purchase price based on necessary repairs. If you believe a home inspector missed a serious issue, initiate a claim by contacting an insurance lawyer in Tampa.
A lawyer can help you file your lawsuit with the civil courts in the correct county. Your attorney may file an inspection fraud suit, a negligence suit against the inspector or organization, or a suit against the government for a state or county agency. Then, your lawyer can build a strong claim to damages on your behalf using available evidence and resources, such as testimony from home inspection experts. You may also have grounds for a defect claim against the home builder or seller for failing to disclose known defects. Hiring an attorney can enable you to seek maximum compensation through all available outlets.