Property Damage Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
At some point, if you own property, you’re likely to sustain some form of damage. Property damage can occur due to a variety of reasons, most of which are not the fault of the owner. Things like rain, fire, wind, and other natural disasters can greatly diminish the value of your property. And property damage can range from something as large and expensive as roof or automobile to small pieces of furniture or art inside of your home. If you’ve sustained a loss or damage to insured property, you might logically assume that your insurer will cover the monetary loss and make you whole. But what happens when the insurance company denies your claim or provides you with inadequate remuneration? You may need the assistance of a property damage attorney, also commonly identified as a public claims adjuster, to make yourself whole again.
First-Party Property Damage Insurance Claims
When you take out insurance that covers property against physical damage, it’s considered a first-party policy. That’s because you are both the property owner and the insured. When that property is damaged, it’s a first-party insurance claim. In other words, you are asking for reimbursement for the costs associated with repairing or replacing your own property. It’s important to remember that first-party insurance companies want to mitigate their losses, and will often try to find ways to deny the claim or reduce the amount that they owe. A public claims adjuster can review your case, negotiate your claim with the insurer, and will work on a contingency basis. You pay no fees unless the adjuster is successful and their fees come from the proceeds of your claim, so there are never any out-of-pocket costs.
What is the amount that can be recovered in a property damage lawsuit?
The amount that you can recover often depends on the size of the policy and the value of the insured property. There are cases where the insured property appreciates and the policy is inadequate to fully cover a loss. There are, however, criteria for the way that a first-party insurer calculates your claim. These include:
- Replacement value of the damaged item
- Cost of repairs, if repair is possible
- Loss of use until the item has been repaired or replaced
- Sentimental value (in case of heirlooms or very personal items)
What constitutes first-party property damage?
If you have insured your property for physical damage, you have in effect purchased a first-party insurance policy. An example of this would be a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers a house and its contents, but there are many other types of properties that can be covered with a first-party policy.
How can you file a property damage claim?
The first step in pursuing any claim is to get as much information on the case as possible. A claim that’s backed up by plenty of information has a higher likelihood that the desired outcome will be obtained. You should also document the damage with photographs or video. Ideally, you will have comparison photos from before the damage occurred. A public claims adjuster can assist you with preserving evidence and calculating damages.
What kind of information should you gather?
With regard to any type of accidental damage, your safety comes first. Do not try to enter or go near damaged property if there’s a risk of injury. As was mentioned before, document all damage with photographs or video. If you have receipts for damaged items, collect them to accompany your claim. If the property was damaged during an incident, gather the names of any witnesses that may have seen the damage occur.
How long does it take for you to receive the payment?
Depending on the type of first-party claim, your payment could take some time to process. As a rule, larger claims take longer to process. It’s important, however, that you don’t accept the first offer merely out of expediency. Insurance companies frequently low-ball settlements to protect their bottom line. A first-party property damage lawyer can help you navigate the difficult negotiations process.
What is negligence and how does it affect the claim?
Negligence occurs when someone acts carelessly and it results in damage. With regard to first-party insurance claims, an insurer may try to claim that the insured was negligent. They may then use negligence as an excuse to deny a claim or reduce the settlement amount. If another party was negligent, they may try to hold them accountable for the loss. A property damage lawyer can help you defend against claims of negligence by your insurer. Talk to a property damage attorney in Fort Lauderdale today.
Who else can help you if you have suffered damage to your property?
If you own a home, a piece of land or other structure, you probably also have property insurance. You know this because when you purchased this home or land, your lender made sure you purchased a property insurance policy as a condition of the loan. The policy will stipulate limits as to how much it will pay in case of damage.
Is there a statute of limitations to present a property damage claim?
The time limit depends on every state. In Florida, it is generally five years. Don’t sit long on your claim and take action today by calling a property damage lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Do you need to have property damage insurance?
The short answer is yes, everybody needs property damage liability insurance. Why? Because accidents in the form of fire, wind, storms, and even theft, can happen when you least expect it. And in most states, this type of insurance is required by law.
Should you hire a property damage attorney in Fort Lauderdale to pursue your case?
The decision to get legal help is entirely up to you. However, having an experienced public claims adjuster on your side will make things easier for you, taking your mind off the case and allowing you to concentrate on your life again. A property damage attorney in Fort Lauderdale will be familiar with the complexity of the law and can help you negotiate with recalcitrant insurance companies. They will also track down and interview witnesses, collect all needed evidence, and submit the proper documentation.
An experienced property damage lawyer on your side will help you negotiate more effectively with the insurance company to increase the possible compensation for the damages you have suffered. Property damage lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning that they are paid from the proceeds of your settlement, which is often much larger than you would receive without representation.
Pay No Fees or Costs Unless We Win
To get your property damage claim started, don’t delay and make an appointment with Charles Legal, PLLC. In your initial consultation, you will be able to explain your case and receive guidance as to the best way to proceed. There is no cost for you unless you win your case. Protect your property, protect what’s yours.