Fire Damage Lawyer in McAllen Protecting the Rights of Fire Victims
Dealing with a property damage claim can be difficult enough without having the added emotional distress associated with smoke damage that a fire can add. If that isn’t bad enough, the insurance company will routinely try to deny your fire damage claim. In some cases, they may agree to a settlement, but it may be far less than what your initial damage claim is worth.
Contrary to what insurance companies would lead their policyholders to believe, they do not have your best interests at heart. Their main concern is to maintain a secure financial profit for insurance policyholders and the company. Often, they will act in what is deemed to be “bad faith,” in which they intentionally work to deny claims, undervalue the amount that your property damage claim may really be worth, or simply deny your claim so that they do not have to pay you any amount of compensation.
The wind damage attorneys at the law firm of Flores & Pelaez-Prada PLLC have dedicated themselves to fighting for the rights of those who have been underpaid or had a property damage claim denied. We pledge to help you recover any damages that you may be entitled to under the terms of your homeowners insurance policy.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case review by calling us at 855-STORMS-4. We look forward to explaining your legal rights as well as any other options that you may have.
What Steps Should I Take Immediately After a Fire Has Occurred With Regard to the Insurance Company?
As soon as you can collect your thoughts, you need to contact your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to report the fire. You should be prepared to communicate how, when, and where the fire damage occurred. Some other vital details that you and insurance provider should have prepared include the following:
- A comprehensive list of the lost or damaged items and provide any receipts that you may have if possible.
- Be certain to take multiple photographs of the damage from several various angles. If it is feasible, also consider making a video in which you can demonstrate the extent of the damage that was caused by the fire. Both the photographs and the video will lend credibility to your insurance claim.
- Keep damaged or destroyed items or even portions of the items until the claims adjuster has made an inspection of your property. Do not discard any item that you plan to claim without first discussing it with the adjuster.
- It is essential that you keep an accurate accounting of additional expenses that may accompany your claims, such as expenses for living accommodations, repairs, or supplies and materials obtained in order to make repairs if applicable. You will need to keep all receipts that correspond to any money that you have spent that directly ties in with dealing with the aftermath of the fire.
- For both your own records and those of the insurance company, make copies of all documents and pictures/videos that you submit to your claims adjuster.
By making an accurate inventory and having photographic evidence to back up your smoke damage claim, you stand a much greater chance of having your fire damage claim approved.
Can I Ask For An Advance Against My Fire Insurance Claim For Living Expenses After A Fire in Texas?
If you had to leave your home quickly due to a fire, you most likely were only concerned with getting your family and yourself out of harm’s way as fast as possible. Once you were all safely out, you had to start thinking about where and how you were going to live.
One thing that you can do to make it somewhat easier on you and your family is to call your insurance agent or company and ask them to provide you with a check for any items that you may need, such as clothing, toiletries, and any other essentials.
You should keep in mind that you can certainly take care of any of the basic needs that you may have, such as obtaining food, clothing, and shelter, but you should be practical about what you purchase. The money that you are given is an advance against the “Personal Property or Contents Coverage.” This money is meant to cover any personal possessions that you may lose in the fire.
What Could Cause the Insurance Company to Deny My Fire Damage Claim?
There are several various reasons that a fire damage claim may be denied in Texas. Some of the actions on the part of homeowners or the policyholder that may cause a claim to be denied include:
- Incomplete or inaccurate documentation of the damage that resulted from the fire.
- Not turning your claim in to your insurer in a timely manner.
However, some of the predominant reasons stem that fire claims may be denied stem from fire and smoke damage from both unethical accusations and tactics on the part of insurance companies. These actions may include the following:
- Delaying the investigation of the scene of the fire can lead to serious errors in the evaluation of the damage caused by the fire. It also may lead to even more damage occurring from exposure to the elements or any lingering toxins that may be present.
- Making accusations that the policyholder committed arson.
- Threatening to prosecute a policyholder for supposedly making a fraudulent claim.
- Intentional undervaluing of the property and contents damaged or destroyed in the fire.
- Allegations that there were violations of the insurance policy terms and coverages.
In a case where a serious accusation is made that arson was committed and thus resulted in the fire and any subsequent damages, the burden of proof lies with the fire insurance company, to substantiate its allegations.
One way to protect yourself against such accusations and avoid a delay in your claim being paid is to allow an attorney to review it before submitting it to the insurance company. Typically, fir damage claims may be settled within 3-4 months. However, errors and filing mistakes within the documents that you submit for your claim may cause serious delays or even cause your claim to be denied entirely.
Our attorneys at the law firm of Flores & Pelaez-Prada PLLC will be more than happy to meet with you and offer a free case review in an effort to make certain all matters that pertain to your fire damage insurance claim have been accurately completed. We understand how insurance companies try to delay or deny claims, and we will work hard to try and get the most compensation for your insurance claim.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney to Help Me With My Fire Damage Claim?
Fire damage claims, along with any type of insurance claims, can be extremely complex and difficult to navigate on your own. Hiring an attorney to assist you through the claims process can save you both time and many of the other added stresses that can accompany filing a claim that relates to fire.
Unfortunately, the lawyers at our law firm often see cases in which the insurance company acts in bad faith and claims seem to be forgotten, delayed and eventually denied. Insurance companies also have an entire department of lawyers who are paid to examine claims and look for loopholes in which they can be undervalued or denied payment.
At the law firm of Flores & Pelaez-Prada PLLC, we pledge to obtain what is in your best interests. Our legal team has vast knowledge and experience in dealing with insurance companies and the various methods that they use with insurance coverage in order to not fully compensate the policyholder.
If you feel that the insurance company is not treating you fairly, you need to come in for a free consultation. We have fire damage lawyers who can review your claim and help make a determination on how to best move forward in an effort to get the compensation that you deserve. Call our law firm today at 855-STORMS-4 and make an appointment to speak with one of our fire damage attorneys. We greatly look forward to serving you.