In New Orleans, you could sustain property damage for any number of reasons, ranging from a hurricane or tropical storm to a fire or broken water pipe. In most cases, your damages should be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Sometimes, however, insurance companies don’t honor their obligations. They may attempt to delay your claim, undervalue your losses, or even deny your claim outright.
A New Orleans property damage lawyer from the Johns Law Firm can help. We stand up to the insurance companies and hold them accountable to help ensure that you recover the compensation you deserve for your damages.
Common Types of New Orleans Property Damage Claims
A personal property damage lawyer from the Johns Law Firm can assist you with all types of insurance claims. Some of the most common types of property damages we encounter include those caused by:
- Tropical storms,
- Downed trees,
- House fires,
- Household appliances failures,
- Broken water lines/pipes, and
- Sewer line blockages.
You could also sustain damage to your home if someone loses control of their car and drives onto your property, or through an act of vandalism or malice. Even if you don’t see the cause of your property damage listed here, contact one of our property claim attorneys in New Orleans now for help.
How Do You File an Insurance Claim for Property Damage?
If you plan to file a claim on your own, you should start by reviewing your homeowners insurance policy to determine the types of coverage you have and the policy’s insured limits. You may have replacement value or actual cash value (depreciated value) coverage for the primary structure of your home as well as:
- Detached garages,
- Guest houses,
- Site fencing,
- Personal property/contents,
- Property cleanup,
- Debris removal, and
- Temporary relocation.
Determining what is and is not covered by your policy is the first step to recovering the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Because insurance policies are written in complex legal language, having a lawyer interpret your coverage can be invaluable during this challenging time.
Your insurer may require specific forms or procedures for filing a claim, but typically, you will have to submit information such as:
- Before and after photos of your property and damage;
- Property repair estimates;
- List of lost or damaged contents;
- Documentation of contents’ value;
- Receipts for water extraction and remediation;
- Receipts for board-up, temporary roofing, etc.;
- Receipts for replacement items you purchased;
- Receipts for temporary housing, meals, transportation, etc.; and
- Receipts for any other out-of-pocket expenses you incur.
One of the biggest problems that homeowners face when attempting to file a homeowners insurance claim is the sheer volume of information and paperwork that’s necessary.
If you have an experienced NOLA property damage lawyer to handle your claim, they can take a significant portion of that burden off your shoulders. This leaves you free to handle the more pressing issues you’re facing and helps alleviate the high levels of stress that can accompany a devastating loss of this nature.
Storm & Hurricane Damage: Will You Be Covered?
New Orleans and the surrounding areas have become repeated targets for hurricanes and tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico. The increased frequency with which we sustain damage has caused insurance rates to soar. At the same time, insurers are finding new ways every day to limit their financial liability for property claims.
Flood damage may not be covered under your standard policy, although you may have purchased a separate flood policy. However, under your homeowners insurance, hurricane damage should be covered. This includes water damage that results from wind-driven rain. Nevertheless, insurance companies may try to avoid their legal responsibility to you as a policyholder.
Some examples of how insurance companies accomplish this include:
- Denying you had valid coverage,
- Refusing to investigate your claim,
- Delaying sending out an adjuster,
- Delaying payment on your claim,
- Making false or misleading statements,
- Undervaluing your claim, and
- Denying your claim outright.
The insurer might try to discourage you from talking to a property damage lawyer, despite it being illegal for them to do so. They might offer you what they know is a significantly undervalued settlement right away, hoping you are willing to waive your rights to recover fair compensation.
Our property damage lawyers stand up to the insurance companies and compel them to deal with your claim in good faith. We handle everything on your behalf and fight tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome from your insurance claim. If you sustained property damage related to Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Sally, Tropical Storm Beta, or any other significant weather event, contact us as soon as possible for assistance.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Property Damage Claim?
Legally, you have no obligation to hire an attorney to handle your insurance claim. From a financial perspective, however, you might find that it makes good sense. Your attorney and legal team will handle calculating the value of your damages and documenting your claim. Your lawyer will submit a demand to the insurer and negotiate to get you the compensation you deserve.
Emotionally, having an experienced property damage attorney on your side can provide peace of mind and help alleviate a substantial amount of stress. This is especially true if you have been displaced from your home and forced to seek temporary housing.
Your attorney will protect your legal rights and fight to ensure that your property damage claim is treated fairly and resolved promptly by your insurance company. This gets you the money you need to repair or rebuild your home.
Contact a Property Damage Attorney in New Orleans Now for Help
The Louisiana property insurance claim lawyers of the Johns Law Firm understand the challenges you’re currently facing, and we are here to assist you. You have upheld your obligations to the insurance company by paying your premium. We will fight to ensure the insurer upholds its legal obligations to you.
Our attorneys and legal team can assist you with filing your New Orleans property damage claim. We can also assist you if the insurance company has denied your claim, undervalued your losses, or is delaying the processing of your claim. Further, our attorneys can provide advice on obtaining repair estimates and negotiating contract terms with repair contractors.
To learn more, or to speak with a New Orleans property damage attorney, call or contact us now.