Jacksonville Hurricane Damage Lawyer

 

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Because you live in a hurricane-prone area like Florida, you likely have insurance coverage for any damages you might incur after a natural disaster. However, though you may have the right insurance coverage, claiming compensation after a hurricane can prove challenging. Consider hiring a Jacksonville hurricane damage lawyer to help you claim compensation from the insurance company. In addition, your lawyer will help prove the extent of the hurricane damage and protect your rights.

Understanding Hurricane Damage Claims

Florida frequently experiences hurricanes and other weather-related natural disasters that cause expensive damage. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the U.S. loses more than $50 billion every year in economic damages due to hurricane-force winds and storm-related flooding. At the same time, insurance only covers around 50% of the losses.  Hurricanes often cause structural issues and roof and siding damage. Depending on your insurance policy provisions and the type of damages, you can claim compensation for:
  • Loss of use of your property
  • Property damage to your home or business
  • Damage to your fencing or other improvements on your property
  • Relocation expenses, such as hotel costs
  • Damage to structures on your property, like barns or sheds
It's essential to know how to file a hurricane damage claim and get the compensation you deserve to make the claim process more manageable. 

Hurricane Damage Claims Process

You need to take several steps when filing a hurricane claim. The following steps mark the beginning of the recovery process to the settlement:
  • File the claim: You should file the claim as soon as possible to protect your rights. You might want to work with a hurricane damage lawyer to ensure you have all the documents to file the claim correctly. Failing to file your claim immediately could raise suspicion, possibly causing the insurance company to delay or undervalue your claim.
  • Cover up the damages: If your property suffers roof damage, you must cover the room with a tarp or other covering to prevent additional damage. If you cannot make any repairs yourself, contact a professional to assist you. In addition, hiring a professional could prevent you from causing further damage. Preventing extra damage to your home after a hurricane will lower your repair or replacement costs and help your insurance claim. 
  • Document the damage: Note all the damage to your home or business. Take photos and videos of all sides of your property, including the roof. Get as many close-ups as you can and take pictures of all the rooms and the damaged items. Finally, don't forget to keep a detailed inventory of all damaged property. You'll need these pictures and records to prove your losses when filing a claim.
Claiming compensation after a natural disaster can be a complicated endeavor. We recommend working with a Jacksonville hurricane damage lawyer to ensure you claim all damages and file the paperwork correctly.  Note that your insurer can deny your claim for assorted reasons. Your lawyer will review your insurance policy for any exclusions and use the proper evidence to defend your claim and prove its validity. With a lawyer, you'll be more patient and less intimidated to accept a lowball settlement offer or sign off your rights. 

Why Hire a Jacksonville Hurricane Damage Lawyer?

Insurance companies work with adjusters and lawyers to investigate claims and negotiate settlements. Thus, taking on such professionals without legal assistance can affect your claim. For example, you may not value your claim correctly and accept a lower amount than what you're entitled to recover. If you want to protect your rights and get the maximum compensation, you should consider hiring a lawyer immediately after the hurricane. Hurricane lawyers know best how to handle insurance companies and will fight to ensure you're rightfully compensated for the damages. Your lawyer will:
  • Review your case and help you understand your legal options
  • Address your concerns and answer questions
  • Investigate the case and gather compelling evidence to prove the damages and establish liability
  • Offer advice on protecting your case 
  • Accurately value your claim to know how much you should pursue
  • Negotiate with the insurance company for fair compensation
  • File a lawsuit and take the case to court if you cannot settle the claim with the insurance company
Handling claims and negotiating with insurers while also dealing with the hurricane's effects on your life can be challenging. Your lawyer can help make the situation more bearable by holding the insurance company responsible for paying out on your policy and getting you the support you need to get your life back on track. 

Statute of Limitations for a Hurricane Damage Claim

If your property suffers damage after a hurricane, you have a right to claim compensation from your homeowner's or business insurance company. Florida Statutes § 627.70132 requires you to file an initial insurance claim within two years of when the hurricane made landfall. A supplemental claim has a three-year deadline. These deadlines apply to both your real estate and personal property. If you fail to claim before the deadline, you risk losing compensation from your insurer and bearing the cost of repairing or replacing your property. Our team will strive to ensure that we file your claim before the deadline hits.

Contact the Dolman Law Group for Free Consultation

If you've recently suffered hurricane damage, don't wait long before contacting a lawyer. It's best to enlist a lawyer as soon as possible after the disaster to protect your claim.  The Jacksonville hurricane damage lawyers at the Dolman Law Group will review your case and ensure you file the claim correctly and on time. Our team has the skills and knowledge to help you recover damages and will fight for fair compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We require no upfront fees or costs to get started on your case. Jacksonville Office 12574 Flagler Center Blvd.; Suite 101 Jacksonville, FL 32258 Phone: (904) 441-6903

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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