Immediate Steps After Hurricane Damage

Immediate action is vital right after a hurricane. The most effective way to document damages is to photograph and make detailed lists of destroyed or damaged property. This proactive approach will be your tool when filing insurance claims or seeking legal compensation, giving you a strong sense of control in the recovery process.

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The Nature of Storm Damage

Certain geographical locations make them vulnerable to hurricanes, tropical storms, and other severe weather events. These can result in extensive property damage, ranging from roof damage and broken windows to more severe structural problems and flooding. Secondary issues such as mold, electrical hazards, and weakened building integrity contribute to the initial damage. For example, a hurricane can cause significant roof damage, leading to water leaks and mold growth, further weakening the building's structure.

Filing an Insurance Claim

The first step in the recovery process is filing a claim with your insurance company. It's essential not to delay, as insurers and state law often have deadlines. When filing, provide all necessary documentation and follow the insurer’s guidelines to avoid delays.

Deadline to File a Property Damage Claim

In each state, you have a timeline in which to file for property damage with the insurance company if the claim involves a hurricane. The statute of limitations begins when the hurricane makes landfall. You can file a supplemental request or lawsuit if the insurer denies the claim.

What Is a Supplemental Claim?

Supplemental claims are those made after the initial claim is adjusted. In such cases, the initial claim may have missed damages. If you believe your initial claim did not cover the extent of your property damage, you can file a supplemental claim within a specified time period from when the hurricane occurred. You must provide additional evidence of the damages, such as new photographs or repair estimates. A supplemental claim allows you to seek further compensation for damages not accounted for.

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Challenges with Insurance Claims

Despite having insurance, many people face challenges when filing hurricane damage claims. At Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard, we understand the unique challenges that property owners face in these situations. Common issues include:

  • Underestimation of Damages: Insurers might underestimate the extent or cost of the damage. This low-ball quote can save them money in the long run.
  • Claim Denials: Insurance companies may deny claims based on a policy's specifics or the damage's cause. 
  • Delayed Payouts: Delays in processing claims can increase financial pressures on those affected by the hurricane.
  • Breach of contract: The insurance company may deny a claim in bad faith or drop your policy to avoid paying it. This action is a breach of contract, and you have five years to file a lawsuit.

The Role of a Property Damage Law Firm

A hurricane damage lawyer can protect your rights when the insurance company fails to abide by its original agreement by doing the following:

  • Reviewing Your Insurance Policy: An attorney can review your policy to understand what coverage you are entitled to.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Experienced lawyers at Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard have a proven track record of successful negotiations with insurers. For instance, in a recent case, we increased a client's initial claim amount by 30 percent after a hurricane damaged their property. We work hard to ensure fair valuation and payout of your claims. However, negotiations may not be fruitful, and it helps if the insurer knows that your legal team is ready to go to court if necessary. Our firm has a strong reputation for advocating for our clients' rights, and insurance companies know our commitment to securing fair compensation. 
  • Litigating Disputed Claims: If negotiations fail, a law firm can represent your interests in court to challenge unjust claim denials or underpayments. This process involves filing a lawsuit against the insurance company and presenting your case in court. We are committed to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. If your insurance company refuses to provide a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to take your case to court. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through every step of the litigation process, ensuring you understand your rights and options.

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Why Legal Representation Matters

Legal representation is valuable, where the high incidence of hurricanes can lead to overwhelmed insurance adjusters and changing laws. A skilled Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard attorney can keep abreast of the latest legal developments and use this knowledge to benefit your case. We understand the rules and regulations surrounding hurricane damage claims and are committed to using this knowledge to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our commitment to staying updated on changing laws ensures we can provide the most accurate and practical legal advice.

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Preparing for the Future

Beyond dealing with the immediate effects of hurricane damage, consulting with a property damage law firm can also help you prepare for future incidents.

Lawyers at Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard are committed to advising on best practices for recording property and keeping insurance policies up to date to ensure protection and easier claims processing. We can help you protect your property and rights in the aftermath of a hurricane and the years to come.

Dealing with hurricane damage can be a stressful experience. At Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard, we understand the emotional toll this can take on you and your family. We know that it's not just about the physical damage to your property but also the emotional upheaval and uncertainty that comes with it. However, with the proper legal assistance, you can rest assured that your recovery will be as smooth and efficient as possible. A dedicated property damage law firm helps maximize your compensation and secures your legal rights and financial stability after a disaster.

Call the Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard for Help

Call the Law Firm of Vargas Gonzalez Baldwin Delombard if a hurricane ravages your property. Our law firm is also accessible online. We will evaluate your claim and ensure you file it on time. If the insurance company undercuts your rebuilding needs, we will file a lawsuit against them to protect your rights.

Our law firm offers a free evaluation, during which we can answer your questions and give you options for moving forward. We also work on a contingency basis, receiving no fee until you win your case.

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