Florida Water Damage Attorney
Insurance claims for water damage are the most common type of property damage claims filed. This is especially true in Florida, where water damage during tropical storms is prevalent, but it is also common among homeowners whose pipes break or whose appliances malfunction.
Often, property owners who have suffered water damage are unsure what to do after the damage is discovered. Should they try to clean up themselves? Should they call a contractor to make repairs? Will their home or business owners’ insurance policy pay to repair the damage? Hopefully, the following information will answer some of these questions and provide some help.
What Should I Do When I Discover Water Damage?
Water damage frequently follows thunderstorms or hurricanes in Florida. Flooding, pipes that have been damaged, and damaged roofs are all common sources of water damage inside or outside your home or business.
If you believe your property has suffered water damage, take the following steps:
- Check for dangerous conditions. Water damage can be destructive on its own; however, it can also cause life-threatening conditions if the water comes into contact with live electricity, the roof is structurally damaged, or if floodwaters are present and moving rapidly. Do not try to access your property if dangerous conditions are present.
- Mitigate further damage, if possible. Only after you have determined that it is safe to do so, enter your property and do what you can to mitigate any further damage. That may involve actions such as shutting off the power and/or water, as well as removing items of value that have not yet been damaged.
- Assess the extent of the damage. Make a preliminary assessment of the extent of the damage. Water can cause hidden damage as well as that which is obvious. For example, water damage often leads to mold which needs to be remediated if present.
- Document the damage. Take pictures of all water damage. In addition, prepare a list of items damaged or destroyed because of the water damage and include a date of purchase and value for each, if possible.
- Contact your insurance company. Call you insurance company to being the claims process as soon as possible after experiencing water damage.
- Consider getting an independent assessment of the damage. Your insurance company will send a adjuster to assess the extent of damage at your property and estimate the cost of repairs or replacement. Having an independent contractor also assess the damage is in your best interest in case the adjuster misses some of the damage or underestimates the cost to repair and/or replace damaged structures.
Do I Need a Florida Water Damage Insurance Claim Attorney?
When you file a claim for water damage to your property, you expect the insurance company to pay the claim in full and in a timely manner. In reality, insurance companies make money by paying out as little as possible on claims. Consequently, your claim could be denied in its entirety for any number of reasons or approved for less than the full value of your losses.
If that happens to you, it is in your best interest to consult with a Florida water damage insurance claim attorney. An experienced attorney will investigate the water damage and review your insurance policy before trying to negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf. If a settlement is not possible, the attorney will litigate your claim in court to ensure that you receive everything you are entitled to for the losses you have suffered.
Will I Need to File a Lawsuit?
Most insurance claims do not result in litigation; however, if the insurance company refuses to pay your claim in full, it could be necessary to file a lawsuit. An attorney will make sure the lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations expires, ensuring that your interests are protected. If the case cannot be resolved out of court, your attorney will advocate on your behalf to a judge or jury at trial to ensure that you receive the maximum amount possible for your claim.
How Much Will a Florida Water Damage Attorney Cost?
If your insurance company has refused to pay a claim in full or in part, you may think that you have no recourse because you cannot afford an attorney. The good news is that a water damage attorney will not charge anything upfront. Instead, your attorney will only receive a fee if you receive a satisfactory payment for your claim from the insurance company.
Where Can I Get Help with My Florida Water Damage Insurance Claim?
If your property suffered water damage and your insurance company has denied 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 water damage insurance claims attorneys will review your case and discuss your legal options with you at no cost.