Mold Damage Lawyer in Tampa
Mold is very unpleasant to deal with. Toxic mold can be harmful to your health and even cause death. More often than not, mold is caused by water intrusion due to an error in design or caused by bad weather. In some cases, someone else could be held liable for a personal injury arising from mold exposure that leads to health problems.
Why is Exposure to Mold so Dangerous?
On top of being simply unsightly, mold can have many adverse health effects. There are three common types of toxic mold, namely: aspergillus, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys. These can cause terrible side effects, such as:
- Irritation of the eyes, mouth, throat, and lungs
- Nasal congestion and chronic runny nose
- Wheezing, coughing, or general trouble breathing
- Fevers and headaches
- Brain fog or memory loss
For more information on the effects of mold exposure, be sure to visit the Florida Department of Health’s Mold Remediation website.
Who Could be Held Liable for Mold Damage?
If your home was newly built, then the architect, builders, building company, and/or contractors could be held liable for a flaw in the design or process of construction. If you can prove they failed to provide proper care, mishandled the inspection, or tried to use faulty materials, they are able to and should be penalized. Providing inadequate care could have caused the mold to grow in the first place.
If you bought an existing home from a previous owner, they could be held responsible. Although usually, this requires the previous owner to have known about an issue that could have led to the current mold problem. They would have legally been required to disclose any problems, even future ones. If you’re renting, then your landlord would be held responsible.
On the off chance that you hired a third-party mold damage repair company, they could be liable as well. If during the mold damage restoration process, they were negligent in removing all of the mold, you may be able to recover damages from them.
Will my Insurance Company Assist with Mold Damage Restoration?
More often than not, insurance companies will claim that they aren’t responsible for any costs related to the mold damage repairs. However, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may actually be required to cover these expenses. These charges would cover the clean-up of the mold, fixing any damage caused by the mold, and any personal injuries the mold could have caused.
If this mold growth or exposure was covered under your insurance policy, your insurer should be responsible for the costs of remediation. If your insurer ignores your claim or causes delays on purpose, your insurer might actually be held liable for additional damages as well. Not only would they have to compensate for any damages related to the mold, but they’d be penalized for acting under “bad faith” as well. It is very important that you contact an experienced mold damage attorney to help with your mold damage insurance claim.
What Costs are Associated with Mold Exposure?
On top of any costs related to cleaning up the mold and fixing any damages it has caused, you could also be compensated for health problems related to, or even directly caused, by the mold exposure. Mold-related illnesses are serious and would ideally be caught early to prevent lifelong health issues. Here is a list of charges your insurance company may have to pay:
- Cleaning and remediation of the mold
- Costs of any damages to personal property
- Replacements for any contents of your home
- Past, current, and future medical care
- The loss of past, current, and future wages
- Any suffering or inconvenience caused by the toxic mold
How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage
If your home was recently infiltrated by water leaks from a major storm, flood, or water line break, your first area of focus after the water recedes is to dry everything out as soon as possible. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours in the right conditions. The following steps should be taken immediately to help prevent mold from taking a stronghold in your home:
- Remove water-damaged items ASAP. Be sure to remove items in your home that have been saturated as soon as possible. If those items start to form mold, they can spread to the interior of your home.
- Remove carpeting that has been water damaged. Mold in carpet from water damage is one of the worst culprits for mold in your home. When the padding becomes saturated, mold can begin to form very quickly.
- Dry the area and any items in it as soon as possible. This may mean bringing in industrial heater fans to boost dry airflow.
- Pay attention to smells. If the area or items start having a musty odor, this is the first sign mold is beginning to form.
- Be sure to check your exterior. If the water damage was caused by a storm, standing water outside may lead to mold forming on the exterior of your home and working its way inside.
Mold Damage Attorney in Tampa
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms and you believe the cause to be mold-related, check your insurance policies to see if there is any coverage. It is always best to address the situation as soon as it is brought to light to prevent further home damage or health-related illnesses. If you’d like to learn more about mold, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has a page dedicated entirely to mold.
If you’re experiencing difficulties with your insurance company or the property owner covering the costs of mold remediation or you have experienced adverse health effects from mold, we urge you to call us at (813) 774-3341 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation right over the phone. Alternatively, you can contact us to schedule a Zoom meeting for a time that is most convenient for you.