If you and your family escaped a serious incident without injuries, you may be tempted to call yourselves lucky. You are alive and whole, and that’s what matters...until a fireman told you that you had no place to live. You want to stay positive, but your insurance carrier is denying your claim—and there’s no way you’ll be able to rebuild without the insurance claim money. What can you do? Our property damage lawyers explain how to pursue a claim below.
Do You Have a Property Damage Claim?
A property damage claim arises when a person’s property has been broken or destroyed, but the person did not suffer any bodily injury. While people can seek compensation for damage to items of little worth, such as inexpensive clothing or furniture, the claims typically involve damage to large or expensive holdings, including homes, cars, or land.
As damages can cost hundreds to millions of dollars, property damage cases frequently involve insurance companies, and the court must decide whether the owner’s or offender’s insurer is responsible for payment. Here are just a few factors that can affect a Texas property damage claim:
- Weather damage. A Texas storm can leave devastation in its wake, doing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in just a few hours. Lightning strikes, thunderstorms, hail, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding can all destroy structures and vehicles—and can mean major losses for the owners.
- Construction defects. If a home is not constructed properly, the people living inside can suffer a wide range of injuries from falling objects to fires and the collapse of the structure. An owner can recover all reasonable and necessary costs needed to repair damaged real estate as long as the costs are less than the overall value of the property.
- Negligence. Many property damage claims arise due to negligence, or a failure to act with reasonable care. You may have a strong case for negligence if someone knew about a risk to your property, but failed to fix it. Examples include a government entity that was warned about a downed power line on your land or a security company that failed to perform a routine check on your burglar alarm.
- Faulty repairs. If someone failed to perform adequate repairs to your property, you may be able to hold him or her liable for any damage that results. This may include car repair (failing to replace worn tires), roof repair (that leads to leaks and wall damage), or electronics repair (permanently damaging an expensive camera or computer).
- Insurance denials. Since payouts on property damage claims are often expensive, insurers will look for any loophole to avoid paying the full amount of the policy. For instance, if property damage led to an injury months after the accident, such as hospitalization from black mold in a home, an insurer may argue that the damage did not occur during the policy period. Many specialized policies such as flood insurance have strict rules about what is and is not covered under the policy. A flooded basement caused by rain may be covered, but the same basement flooded by a nearby fire hydrant will not.
Calculating How Much Your Damaged Property Is Worth
One of the biggest mistakes people make in a property damage case is failing to accurately calculate the worth of the property that has been affected. Unless the item was purchased recently, there will be many differing estimates as to the replacement value of your property—and you can be sure an insurance company is going to give you the “lowball” offer. Thankfully, experienced property damage lawyers can stand up these companies on your behalf.
Speak To Our Texas Property Damage Lawyers Today
Whether you are taking action against another person or an insurance provider, Wayne Wright LLP will fight aggressively to get you a fair value on the property that has been destroyed. We know how to deal and negotiate with insurance companies, claims adjusters, and other attorneys to get you an amount that covers all of your costs—and you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case. Call us today at 800-237-3334 to get started on your free case evaluation.