Property Damage Attorneys

February 17, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

If your home or business suffered property damage, you may have difficulty getting the compensation you need for repairs. It can be challenging to get your insurer to pay what you need to repair or replace damaged property or to hold another liable party responsible for the damage they caused. Working with a residential property damage lawyer from our team can make this process much more manageable.

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA (hereinafter “Dolman Law Group”), our team offers free consultations. You can speak with a team member for free about your property damage claim today. We can help you file your insurance claim or fight a denial. We do not believe covering your home repairs should be difficult or time-consuming. Contact a home property damage lawyer today to learn more.

Disclaimer: Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers does not handle car accident property damage claims that are not part of an existing personal injury or residential property damage case.

Types of Claims Our Property Damage Lawyers Can Manage

Property Damage Attorney

At Dolman Law Group, our team helps clients navigate many types of property damage claims. We provide a personal touch not available at many other large firms and offer a free consultation and case review. Further, we have the resources, knowledge, and experience you need, but we also offer a warm, personalized relationship with your lawyer.

At the beginning of your case, you will meet your attorney. You will know how to contact them, and they will know your name and the details of your case. In addition, you can access answers and updates directly from your lawyer anytime you need them. At Dolman Law Group, you and your case are not just numbers.

Our residential and commercial property damage attorneys have experience litigating a wide variety of insurance claims and lawsuits for our clients. We build claims, file them, and fight denials. Then, if necessary, we take cases to arbitration, mediation, or trial. 

If the applicable insurance carrier lacks a reasonable basis for a claim denial or undervalued determination, that may constitute bad faith conduct. We would then proceed with representing you in a lawsuit wherein we allege your insurance company acted in bad faith and failed to act reasonably on behalf of their policyholder.

Our founding attorney, Matthew Dolman, is a nationally recognized trial attorney. Fellow partner Stan Gipe is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. Thus, he is considered an expert in the discipline of litigation and jury trials. They have dedicated their lives to fighting for people who need and deserve a strong legal advocate. Stan may serve as lead counsel on any property damage lawsuit our firm handles.

By working with an experienced property damage attorney, you can avoid paying out of pocket to restore your home’s condition. The types of property losses we could help you recover compensation for include:

Wind Damage

According to the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, winds that exceed 50 to 60 miles per hour will likely cause damage to susceptible trees and structures. Even securely anchored mobile homes may be at risk with 80-mile-an-hour gusts.

Each year, more than half of all severe weather reports across the United States involve harsh winds and wind damage. Most occur during strong thunderstorms, although hurricanes and other storms can also bring high winds. Most homeowners insurance policies cover wind damage. Wind damage makes up over 40% of home insurance claims.

Water Damage

When filing an insurance claim and recovering compensation, you should know that water damage differs from flood damage. Water damage may occur because of frozen pipes, a burst pipe, a hole in the roof, or other ways that allow water into the home. This can result in damage to flooring, appliances, walls, and personal property.

Sometimes, it occurs alongside other types of residential property damage. For example, winds cause trees to fall on the roof. This causes a large hole, and rain pours in before the homeowners can safely cover the hole with a tarp.

Hail Damage

Large hail can cause significant property damage. It can destroy siding and roof materials, leaving the structure in danger of additional damage from rain and wind. Wind and hail damage costs policyholders billions of dollars in covered losses and costs of repairs. This means some folks will likely need to file an insurance claim following a severe hailstorm.

Hail generally occurs with thunderstorms. While NOAA reports large hail commonly strikes in Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, it can happen almost anywhere thunderstorms develop under the right conditions.

Tornado Damage

Tornadoes can—and have—occurred in all 50 states. Depending on the time of year, they are more likely in some areas than others. These feared storms often have a high risk of harm to communities, including physical destruction.

Tornado damage may lead to:

  • Downed trees
  • Roof damage
  • Broken windows
  • Destruction of barns, sheds, and other outbuildings
  • Lifting structures from foundations
  • Total destruction of mobile homes

In general, the higher the wind speeds of the tornado, the worse the destruction. The National Weather Service actually uses the destruction observed to estimate the wind speeds and rate the tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. This is where the EF rating you hear comes from.

Damage From Trespassers

When someone comes onto your property uninvited, they may do something that could leave you paying repair bills. This could include theft, vandalism, or other intentional actions to cause property damage. In addition, your homeowners' insurance policy likely includes these losses in your coverage.

Imagine someone enters your property, kicks in a door, and steals your laptop or other personal belongings. The insurance company should cover the cost of repairing the door and replacing the computer. In another situation, imagine someone entering your property and painting graffiti on the side of your home. Again, the insurance company will likely pay to clean and repaint the graffiti.

Car Accident Damage

As odd as it may seem, some properties suffer losses because of negligent drivers. When this occurs, the driver loses control of their vehicle or is in another incident that causes them to collide with a fence, shed, outbuilding, or home. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy should pay for the property damage (up to policy limits).

Hurricane Damage

Hurricanes cause wind, water, flood, and other damage to homes and outbuildings. This combination of several losses can lead to expensive repairs. Your hurricane damage claim will depend on your insurance coverage, carrier policies, and the types of damage incurred. Not all insurance companies operate the same way.

Some carriers have a separate deductible for hurricane-related claims. Additionally, some cover water damage but not flooding from storm surges. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you may want to review your coverage before you need to file a claim.

Flood Damage

Flood damage can occur because of heavy rains, hurricanes, or other storms. If you live in a coastal area, storm surges may be a threat during hurricanes. It is essential to ensure you have insurance coverage for flooding. 

Many homeowners' policies do not provide payouts for flood damage. Flooding can cause damage to flooring, walls, appliances, and personal property. Remediation, repair, and replacement for all parts of the ground level of a home can prove significant.

Earthquake Damage

Like flooding, insurers often exclude coverage for earthquake damage. Earthquakes can cause extreme structural damage and collapse. Fires also commonly occur after earthquakes because of natural gas leaks. Significant damage can happen after even relatively small earthquakes, especially in areas unprepared for them. While much of the West Coast has stringent building standards for modern structures, most other areas of the country do not build to these earthquake standards.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), property damage accounts for 97.7 percent of all homeowners' insurance payouts. Over five years, 6 percent of all insured homes in the United States filed a property damage claim.

The most common damage resulted from:

  • Wind and hail damage, 45.5 percent of claims
  • Fire and lightning damage, 23.8 percent of claims
  • Water damage and freezing, 19.9 percent of claims
  • Other circumstances, such as vandalism, 7.9 percent of claims
  • Theft, 0.6 percent of claims

In many cases, geographical location can significantly affect the property damage you could face. For example, someone in Oklahoma likely won’t have hurricane damage, and we probably will not experience a severe earthquake here in Florida. Vandalism, theft, and fire can occur anywhere and at any time.

Legal responsibility to pay for the damage, also known as liability, depends significantly on the facts of the case and the circumstances that caused the damage. At Dolman Law Group, our attorneys work to prove liability and help clients recover compensation to cover the cost of repairs, remediation, or replacement.

Generally, the parties responsible for this compensation could include your insurance company, a contractor or subcontractor, or a party whose negligence or bad behavior caused the damage.

Your Insurance Coverage

Homeowners' or renters' insurance coverage pays for most damage due to weather or natural disaster. However, it also covers some incidents, such as fires and theft, that may occur because of negligence or intentional acts. Your coverage depends greatly on the circumstances. Our team can help you understand your policy, document your damage, and seek compensation to cover repairs.

We understand how insurance companies work, and our lawyers are well-respected within the industry. The insurers know we fight for our clients and help them get the money they need and deserve based on the terms of their policies.

Our team also understands the standard exceptions to these insurance policies, such as earthquakes and flooding. We could help you show the water damage in your home occurred because of roof damage and not storm surge following a hurricane, for example. Our team understands how insurance companies handle and defend claims.

A Negligent Builder

Sometimes, a contractor or subcontractor may be legally responsible for damage to a home or another structure. This occurs when they fail to provide the necessary workmanship to ensure the structure’s safety and stability. In addition, they likely bear legal responsibility if there are defects in their work, and it causes damage or collapse. This may occur immediately during their work or in the future.

Therefore, you should only hire insured workers for maintenance or repairs in your home or business. If they perform substandard work and this causes a problem, our team can help you tie the structural issue to their defective work. This allows us to file an insurance claim on your behalf to cover the cost of repairs.

The At-Fault Party

Any unauthorized party on your property may be legally responsible for any damage they cause. However, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company to recover your losses if they do not have the assets to cover the costs. This is common in cases of theft or vandalism.

Some trespassing parties could face arrest and criminal charges for their actions, but this does not help you get the repair or replacement you need now. In many cases, police officers never identify the thief or vandal, and your homeowners' insurance policy is your only option.

When a car crashes into a fence or house, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance may pay to cover the property damage. Still, the policy limits may be too low to repair significant damage to a home, condominium, or business. Our team can help you understand your options and seek compensation to repair your property.

How Much Can a Residential Property Damage Lawyer Help Me Recover?

Many factors go into how much you could recover in your property damage claim. This includes the limits of the policy, the cost of repairs, and other facts of the case. The damage to your property depends heavily on the circumstances.

The types of repairs that may be recoverable from your insurance coverage or through third-party claims include:

  • Residential property damage
  • Roof replacement or repair
  • Repairs of decks, porches, or other outdoor areas
  • Shed, outbuilding, or workshop repair or replacement
  • Flood or fire remediation
  • Fallen-tree repair
  • Replacement of items or systems hit by lightning, such as HVAC or appliances
  • Replacement of stolen property
  • Repair and cleanup of vandalized property
  • Total loss rebuilding

The compensation available through an insurance claim depends greatly on the losses. Therefore, as a part of helping you build your case, our team can take an inventory of your property damage, necessary repair estimates, and losses you suffered. Together, this can give us a better picture of the losses and expenses related to your damaged property.

You could recover compensation to pay for:

  • Repair to the physical structure or any unattached structures such as fences and outbuildings
  • Repairs to the interior, such as flooring
  • Replacing damaged appliances
  • Repairing, replacing, or restoring damaged personal items
  • Replacing stolen items

Depending on your policies and coverage, you may need to file a claim based on other policies. For example, imagine you are a musician who collects vintage guitars. You would want an additional policy to cover this collection beyond your homeowners' coverage limits. This is a “valuable personal property insurance” or collectibles policy. Hence, why it is vital you consult a residential property damage attorney.

This policy applies only to the damaged parts of your collection. However, it can allow you to restore or replace your guitars after a tornado, hurricane, or fire.

You may also have additional coverage for floods, earthquakes, or other exclusions to your primary homeowners' insurance policy. Our team can help you prepare and file all your claims, including fighting issues with the insurance company as they arise. We believe you deserve the coverage promised in your policy, up to policy limits. We can help you pursue a fair payout based on your property damage.

For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving property damage, call 833-552-7274

Our Property Damage Lawyers Can Help With Insurance Denials

If the insurance company refuses to pay to repair or replace your property, you may want to reach out to our team if you have not already done so. As a policyholder in good standing, you have rights. Your insurer must assess and process your claim fairly based on your policy terms and the facts of what happened. However, we know that insurance companies can often undervalue the rights of property owners and even deny valid claims.

At Dolman Law Group, our property damage lawyers help clients resolve disputes related to their insurance claims. Sometimes, hiring an attorney is enough to make the insurance company reconsider its denial. In addition, they may take another look and examine the details of your claim more closely when your lawyer calls about them.

If the insurance company denies your claim, they must provide the specific reason in your denial letter.

Some common reasons why they might reject a property losses claim include:

  • Missing the filing deadline
  • Not paying the premiums
  • Incorrect information in your claim, including lies, misrepresentation, or mistakes
  • Insufficient documentation of items or losses
  • Excluded causes
  • Damage to undisclosed improvements, such as home additions
  • Not taking sufficient measures to prevent further damage
  • Neglect, such as failing to provide property maintenance

Our property damage lawyers can help you understand why the insurer denied your claim and explain your options for appealing this denial. We can manage this process for you, allowing you to move forward with coordinating repairs or focusing on other important tasks.

We understand how time-consuming and challenging fighting an insurance denial can be. Filing and supporting a claim can prove complex—even when things go relatively smoothly. However, having our attorneys on your side can help. We know the ins and outs of how these claims work and how insurers assess them.

We can help you gather evidence to refute the insurance adjuster’s reasons for denying your property damage claim, present this evidence to them, and negotiate a fair payout.

This evidence could include:

  • Photos or videos of the property before and after the damage
  • Receipts for damaged or missing items
  • Documentation of what happened
  • Other proof to support your claim

Our team can present evidence to counter the insurer’s reason for denying your claim. We could work to convince them to reconsider, either through conversations with a representative or a formal appeal. If necessary, we can litigate on your behalf. We can sue the insurance company if they fail to provide the coverage included in your policy.

Navigating the Claims Process With Help From Our Property Damage Attorney

At Dolman Law Group, our property damage lawyers know how to navigate the insurance claims process—including appealing a denial when necessary—and getting the money our clients need to repair, replace, or rebuild their property. We help our clients seek compensation for homes, businesses, and rental properties losses.

You can count on our team to handle each step of the insurance claims process.

This includes:

  • Documenting your losses
  • Filing your claim
  • Negotiating with the insurance company
  • Learning more about a denial
  • Appealing a denial when necessary
  • Suing the insurance company if they refuse to approve a valid claim

The approach we take to recover compensation for your property damage depends on the facts of the case. You can learn more during your free initial conversation with our team. We also work based on contingency fees, so you will not need to pay us anything upfront.

When you choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, you select a firm that makes our clients our priority. You will have your attorney’s personal cell phone number and email address and can reach out to them with questions when you need to. We work hard for homeowners like you—not the insurance companies. We make this promise to our clients, who trust us to fight the insurance companies when necessary to recover the compensation they need and deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions About Property Losses

Below, you can get general answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear, or you can contact our team to get answers specific to your case. We provide free initial case consultations from our Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, and New York offices.

When Should I Call Your Team for Help?

Our attorneys can go to work on a property damage case immediately. You can contact us to handle your initial claim and inventory of losses, or you can hire us later on if the insurer denies your claim. We encourage you to connect with us from the start, which could greatly reduce the chance of denial.

This is especially true if you have a complex claim with losses occurring from various causes, such as a hurricane with wind, water, and hail damage. Our team can answer your questions about your claim and help you decide your next move to get the money you need and deserve.

How Long Do I Have to File a Property Damage Insurance Claim?

Your insurer may have a deadline for filing a claim, but no overarching rule applies to all property damage claims. However, you will probably want to get started with your case as quickly as possible.

Under Florida law, you typically have up to four years to sue. Generally, this is the deadline for property damage or negligence suits in Florida. However, you will want to go to work on your case much sooner. Most people want to recover compensation to repair their home or business as soon as possible so that they can pay for the repairs and things can return to normal.

Can Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, Help Me Understand My Policy?

If you have property damage, our team can review your policy and help you understand your options through your own insurance company. We can explain your coverage and determine if you have exclusions or other concerns. We can also learn what coverage you have available based on the specific facts of your case.

Our team can also review a denial letter from your insurer and help you understand why they refuse to pay the claim. We could also determine the next steps we can take on your behalf to fight a denial. We often challenge insurance coverage denials for our clients.

What if Someone Broke the Law and Damaged My Property?

Property damage may occur because of an individual’s negligence or intentional actions. You could pursue a case against this party and recover losses. It depends greatly on the circumstances. Remember that the civil case you file against them does not affect the criminal charges they face or vice versa.

A party may face criminal charges for breaking and entering, theft, vandalism, trespassing, or another legal violation. However, they may not have insurance coverage or assets to pay for the damage they caused. When this occurs, we can help you pursue a payout based on your insurance policy, generally either a homeowner’s, renter’s, or corporate policy.

What if I Do Not Know Who Vandalized My Home?

Sometimes, someone breaks into or vandalizes a home or business and gets away with it. The police investigating the incident do not have any suspects and make no arrests. This makes it impossible to hold the thief or vandal responsible criminally or in a civil case. However, your homeowners' insurance should cover the losses up to policy limits.

This payout provides money to replace or repair covered losses, but you will need to file a property damage claim and submit documentation of the losses. Our team can help with this process and handle your claim. We understand how difficult it can be to juggle these tasks with your everyday work and activities. We make this easier for our clients.

How Long Will It Take Me to Get the Money I Need?

There is no way to know how quickly you will receive your money. Since you are likely filing a claim based on your insurance coverage, this process could take weeks or months before they approve a payout. Furthermore, they could deny your claim or require additional documentation. This causes delays, and it could be longer before you receive the payment.

Insurers must either settle or deny your claim within 90 days, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services. These deadlines may vary by state.

Our attorneys understand that you need cash to repair or replace your belongings and structure as soon as possible. We can work to secure fair compensation that can cover your needs as promptly as possible.

How Much Is My Property Damage Claim Worth?

Many factors affect your property damage claim’s worth. This includes the cost to restore your property, replace damaged or missing personal items, get temporary housing if you cannot stay at home, and more.

Your attorney first needs to review your case’s evidence before they can estimate the potential fair value of your claim. Our team needs to document the losses and get estimates for repair before determining how much you deserve. Sometimes, your policy limits will also play a role. For example, you may run into this issue if you have significant losses and need to rebuild.

I Have Damage at My Business. Can You Help?

Our team also represents clients with property damage on their commercial properties. We could help you file your claim and document your losses after a hurricane, storm, fire, or criminal act causes property losses. The coverage available to business owners may differ significantly from that provided under a homeowners' policy. We can explain these differences and help you navigate this process.

Having your business closed for any period can significantly affect your family’s finances, your employees and their families, and the health of your business. However, we know you want to be back in operation as soon as possible, and we want to help you reach this goal.

Can I Handle My Property Damage Claim on My Own?

Many people opt to handle their property damage claims independently, which can prove challenging and time-consuming. Our team helps our clients navigate this process and handles all aspects of the claim. Preparing, filing, and supporting a complex claim often proves especially difficult. This could occur when you need to file multiple claims, such as against your homeowner’s insurance and your flood insurance policies.

You’ll want to focus on getting your life back to normal and taking care of any other necessary tasks—all while your lawyer works on getting the cash you need to make repairs. You don’t have to handle all the challenges of the claims process on your own.

Talk to Our Team About Your Property Damage Claim Today for Free

Our property damage lawyers from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA help clients pursue a payout for the repairs, replacement, and rebuilding necessary after stormy weather, natural disasters, or other events cause damage to your home or business. We provide free case reviews for those who endured this damage and need help getting compensation from their insurance company or a liable party. 

One of the most helpful steps you can take if you are struggling to recover from home property damage is to contact an experienced residential property damage lawyer. 

Dolman Law Group understands the stress associated with damage to your home and is committed to securing each client the recovery they deserve. One of the most critical components of a successful attorney and client relationship is open lines of communication. For this reason, each client receives the personal cell phone number and email address of the attorney they are working with. Dolman Law Group is well-respected in the insurance industry, and we keep our commitment to injured homeowners clear by never representing insurance companies.

Matthew A Dolman Esq
Property Damage Attorney, Matt Dolman

If you or a loved one is seeking recovery for property damage, contact our firm today at 833-552-7274 or through our website to consult with an experienced property damage attorney.

Why Dolman Law Group

Dolman Law Group is a nationally recognized plaintiff’s law firm that routinely represents policyholders and their interests on insurance claims against many of the largest insurance companies in the United States. As of date, we have recovered over $225 million for our clients. Our lawyers have over 130+ years of combined experience handling insurance claims. 

Further, our business has been built on referrals from satisfied former and current clients. We rely on our clients, not expensive advertising, to generate new business. Thus, we put tremendous effort into ensuring our clients receive personal attention from the outset.

The Dolman Law Group works with local counsel in any jurisdiction outside Florida for the purpose of filing lawsuits in jurisdictions wherein we are not licensed. Thus, we will follow each State’s ethical rules to ensure a local attorney is involved.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA - Clearwater Office
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Client Testimonial

“AMAZING and understanding attorneys! Did great on my case and I highly recommend Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for anyone that has been injured in an accident!"
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Koralis R.
Jan 2020
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Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

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 successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $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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