Florida Fire Damage Attorney
Fire damage can be disastrous for home and business owners, since fire and smoke can destroy personal belongings and and make buildings uninhabitable. Recovering from this kind of damage is extremely difficult, even if your insurance policy covers repair and replacement costs. However, when your insurance company denies, delays or underays your fire damage claim, recovering is close to impossible.
Many property owners face a variety of obstacles and challenges following a fire and may not know what to do. Knowing who to call for help and what steps you need to take following a fire are crucial to recovering emotionally and financially.
What Should I Do after Experiencing Fire Damage?
In Florida, fire damage may be caused by lightning, wildfires, or electrical malfunctions. A fire can sweep through your property rapidly, leaving serious destruction in its path. If your property has been damaged by fire, take the following steps:
- Make sure the fire danger has passed. Fire can present a serious danger even after it appears that the fire has been put out because it can re-ignite from smoldering embers. Never re-enter your home or property until a firefighter or other authority has determined that it is safe to do so.
- Document the extent of the damage. When safe to do so, take photos of the damage caused by the fire. In addition, make a list of items destroyed or damaged by the fire or by the water used to extinguish the fire.
- Remove items that can be removed to prevent further damage. Often, the lingering smoke and/or water used to put out a fire continues to damage property after the fire has been put out. When you are allowed back inside, remove items that can be removed to mitigate any further damage.
- Contact your insurance company. As soon as possible after suffering fire damage to your property you should contact your insurance company and begin the process of filing a claim.
- Put together estimates to support the value of the claim. A fire often causes damage both to the structure of your property and the contents within the property. Although an insurance adjuster will likely provide an estimate of the damages, you should also obtain independent estimates to support what you believe to be the value of the damages suffered because of the fire.
Do I Need a Florida Fire Damage Attorney?
As a Florida property insurance policyholder, you understandably expect your fire damage claim to be paid in full and without delay. Sometimes, however, insurance companies refuse to authorize payment in full, unreasonably delay payment of a claim or deny a claim entirely. If that happens to you, it is in your best interest to consult with a Florida fire damage attorney.
An experienced attorney will investigate the fire damage as well as review the coverage provided in your insurance policy before trying to negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf. If your insurance company will not agree to a satisfactory settlement, your attorney will litigate your claim in court to try to ensure you get paid fairly for the damage to your property.
Will I Need to File a Lawsuit?
Fire damage victims are often hesitant to contact an attorney because they do not want to deal with the judicial system. Most fire damage claims are, however, actually settled through serious negotiations without a lawsuit.
Experienced insurance claim attorneys are best suited to negotiate successfully on your behalf, since they are skilled negotiators who understand how insurance companies work. In addition, if it is necessary to file a lawsuit, an insurance claim attorney will be able to advocate effectively on your behalf throughout the judicial process.
How Much Will a Florida Fire Damage Attorney Cost?
Contacting a Florida fire damage attorney to discuss your insurance claim costs you nothing. In fact, if you get help from an attorney, you will not have to pay him at all until your fire damage claim is successfully settled out of court or at trial.
Where Can I Get Help with My Florida Fire Damage Insurance Claim?
If your home or business property has been damaged by fire and your insurance company has denied or underpaid your claim or there has been an unreasonable delay in paying your claim, call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Florida fire damage insurance claims attorneys will explain your rights under the law and discuss legal options with you at no cost.