Clearwater Property Damage Lawyer

March 6, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

Providing You the Information You Want and the Answers You Need

Extreme weather in Clearwater can easily cause damage to your home, vehicles, and possessions. Damage can also come in the form of reckless drivers, vandals, or thieves. When this happens, you want to make sure you have coverage. Unfortunately, some insurance companies work hard to avoid upholding their end of the bargain. From arguing you don't have the necessary coverage to unfairly denying claims, insurance company hassles can feel demoralizing.

You have the right to contact a lawyer to help with any property damage claim challenges. At Dolman Law Group, our Clearwater property damage lawyers can fight denied claims, argue for an accurate valuation of your losses, and gather evidence for your claim. Maximum compensation is our goal for you. Contact our office today!

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How Our Clearwater Property Damage Lawyers Can Manage Your Claim

Clearwater Property Damage Lawyer

First and foremost, unlike insurance companies, we put your best interests first. We want you to feel prioritized, so we offer a no-recovery, no-fee promise. If you don't get compensation, you do not have to compensate us, either.

On top of our no-fee guarantee, we offer:

  • Free consultations
  • Personalized attention
  • Financial resources
  • Litigation experience
  • Regular case updates
  • Prompt replies
  • Staff accessibility

At Dolman Law Group, we know what it's like to be in your position. Founding attorney Matthew A. Dolman has personally experienced the methods used by insurance companies to avoid paying what they owe. Don't make his story into your story. In fact, the point of our property damage attorneys' job is to make sure you don't go through the same experience.

Our Property Damage Attorneys Evaluate Your Policy

Perhaps you're not calling on us due to a huge clash with your insurer. Maybe you just don't know what your rights are as a policyholder. While many people associate lawyers with a fight, we can also offer general support with our legal knowledge and experience.

That includes:

  • Translating legal terminology
  • Helping you file a claim
  • Assisting you in official statements to insurance carriers
  • Preparing you for the adjuster's visit
  • Explaining what is your responsibility and theirs

Whether your property damage was caused by an accident or a natural disaster, picking up the pieces can feel overwhelming. Having our team take care of your case's logistics can take a load off your mind.

We Catalog Your Property Damage

Since many property damage disputes boil down to disagreements over the value of your claim, we know the importance of having documentation of your losses. After all, lawyers' lives revolve around paperwork, so leave it to us.

We can go over your old scrapbooks to find photos of that antique chair that was blown away by hurricane winds. Our team can pore over your records to find out what your coin collection is worth. Let us take over the inventory process.

We Help File Your Claim in Clearwater

To keep an insurance company from tripping you up, we stay by your side throughout the claims process. Some of the common pitfalls that lead to property damage disputes could boil down to nuanced legal language. Others are because insurers set deliberate traps to disqualify you from coverage. Having representation could help avoid these issues.

We Help You Pursue Property Damage Claims in Clearwater

If you have discovered damage to your home, property, or possessions, your first step is to contact your insurance company. For many claims, you will file through your homeowners insurance. Others may require filing with a separate policy. Either way, notifying your insurer is important to protect your right to compensation.

As property damage attorneys, we work to protect your rights at every turn. Yet, you can take your own steps to protect your ability to recover compensation to rebuild. You may not think your losses are that bad; your insurer may even try to back this up. However, the full extent of your losses isn't always apparent in the immediate aftermath of an incident.

Report the damage now to lay the foundation for your claim. This can protect you from characteristic tactics used by insurance companies. For instance, waiting too long can allow them to argue that some damage was not caused by a covered event, or that you aren't being honest about your damage. We can help if you face those dilemmas, but you can act early to avoid them. Then, we can start cataloging your losses.

You Can Recoup Expenses Caused by Damage to Structures

Natural disasters and accidents of all kinds could have affected your home or other buildings on your property.

Your insurance claim could recover the cost to repair or replace:

  • Roofing
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Flooring
  • Walls
  • Foundation
  • Garages
  • Sheds
  • Gazebos
  • Guest houses
  • Personal possessions

Your claim could include prized collections, family heirlooms, or other personal valuables in addition to bigger items, like appliances or external structures. This is why you may deserve more compensation than you realize. It's easy to see when you need your roof fixed, but some smaller, valuable, or cherished items can slip past your notice at the outset. Our lawyers can evaluate your losses from many angles to seek what you need.

We Can Seek Recovery for Water Damage-Related Expenses

You could qualify for compensation for water damage to your home or other property. However, it's important to make the distinction between water damage caused by wind and water damage caused by flooding. If your water damage is from rain that came in through a hole in your roof caused by high winds, that qualifies as part of wind damage. By contrast, your homeowners insurance likely won't cover flooding unless you have a separate policy.

Coverage for mold due to water damage can also be complicated. Some policies do not cover it or have strict rules about when they will provide compensation. For instance, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) points out, even if you have flood insurance, you are responsible for doing your best to prevent or slow the spread of mold.

As a result, with water damage and its complications, an insurer may try to weasel out of providing what you need, claiming the damage isn't part of your policy. Our property damage attorneys can help you receive the compensation you deserve for water damage, whether from wind or flooding, as well as mold contamination.

You Can Seek Coverage for Fire and Smoke Damage

Damage from a fire or smoke is costly to repair, not to mention catastrophic in some cases. With large claims, insurance companies can become especially difficult to work with, looking for ways to cut down on what they must pay. They may also try to find ways to pin the blame on you, arguing that your negligence caused the fire.

We can investigate the fire to identify what happened and why you deserve compensation.

Our Lawyers Seek Recovery for Damaged Pools and Landscaping

Depending on your policy, an insurer may cover damage to your yard as well. For instance, if a tree fell onto your pool house, your insurance could help pay to remove the tree and repair the pool house.

However, keep in mind that some policies don't cover landscaping. If a tree simply fell and didn't damage anything else, your insurer may not pay for tree removal. In some cases, even if the tree caused damage, it may allege that you're at fault for failing to maintain your yard or remove dead limbs.

Disputes over whose tree it is can cause additional complications. Storms can move debris across property lines, and you and your neighbors or their insurers could debate who is responsible for its removal. If an insurer refuses coverage for landscaping damage or other covered losses, we can fight back.

Displaced? You Could Get Compensation for Temporary Living Expenses

Some property damage cases are so extensive that those affected must leave their homes. Storms, fires, or mold could all make a home unlivable. During this time, your property damage claim could cover the cost of living in a temporary location.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Hotel, motel, or rental stays
  • Costs of eating out
  • Storage for your intact property
  • Toiletries and other supplies

You may also pay out of pocket for some initial repairs or to safeguard your property. For instance, you are responsible for preventing further damage following a storm or other incident. That may mean purchasing tarps and tie-downs to keep water from affecting your roof. Your insurer could later reimburse these expenses; keep receipts and paperwork as proof.

Property Damage Claims for Florida-Specific Events

Being in Clearwater means bearing the brunt of Florida's unique hazards, such as hurricanes and other storms. Even tornadoes can strike, causing significant wind damage. Some homeowners face surprising hurdles to receiving compensation for property damage.

Hurricane and Wind Deductibles

Your insurance company probably has special coverage for certain natural disasters in the form of hurricane or wind deductibles. This means you may pay this specific deductible instead of your usual deductible for a claim involving those natural disasters.

As the Insurance Information Institute (III) explains, these deductibles typically range from one to five percent of the value of the insured property. For instance, if you have a one-percent hurricane deductible on your home, valued at $500,000, you would need to pay $5,000 on repairs before your insurance coverage would kick in.

Depending on your deductible, you may assume your costs aren't enough to warrant filing a claim. An unscrupulous insurance company may also underestimate your losses to avoid paying your claim. In reality, you could discover you have more expenses than you realized. Our hurricane damage team can delve into your coverage options to ensure nothing gets overlooked.


The III lists Florida as one of seven states especially at risk for sinkholes. While rare, insurance companies do offer sinkhole protection. Your homeowners policy may also have coverage that could apply.

As this is such an unusual occurrence, you may not know how to pursue compensation for your property damage. If your insurance company pushes back against your sinkhole claim, bring us on board to represent you. Our attorneys can evaluate your legal options for sinkhole-related compensation.

What Is a Property Damage Lawsuit?

A property damage claim is defined as a request for compensation when another person causes damage to someone's property due to negligence, an intentional act, or some external cause. Typically, these property damage claims involve any loss that happens to property. Yet, even though physical injuries are not part of the suit, they can still occur. Take a motor vehicle accident, for example. You can have both a property damage claim and a physical injury claim.

There are usually two types of property damage claims.

They include:

  • Damage to Real Property
  • Damage to Personal Property

When an individual pursues a property damage lawsuit, the victim will ask the court for monetary reimbursement from the defendant commensurate with the property damage costs.

Types of Clearwater Property Damage

There are numerous different types of property damage incidents in Clearwater that can lead to a property damage claim. Typically, in Clearwater, property damages often result from:

Wind Damage From Strong Storms or Hurricanes

Florida is known for its severe storms and horrendous hurricanes, which often result in falling trees, heavy winds, and large and destructive objects being blown into houses. Consequently, it is quite common for Clearwater citizens to deal with siding damage, home structure issues, and roof damage following one of these heavy storms or hurricanes.

What makes this situation even more troublesome is that roof damage claims can get quite complicated because the insurance company will look for any reason to deny the claim, including:

  • Claiming that the roof is considered “too old”
  • Stating that the policy does not cover your roof damage
  • Indicating that your roof does not need a full replacement
  • Arguing that you did not mitigate damages by performing regular maintenance

Flood and Water Damage

Another common cause of property damage in Clearwater is flood damage due to pipes bursting, plumbing issues, leftover rainwater, or malfunctioning appliances. Although insurance companies can cover the various types of water damage and hail damage indicated. It is essential to realize that these insurance companies look at water damage and hurricane flooding damage as two different and distinct issues, which means that homeowner's insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding due to hurricanes. That is why property owners in high-risk hurricane or flooding areas need to ensure they have the proper flood insurance.

Leaky Pipe Water Damage

Before 1975, homes and commercial properties in Florida were made using cast iron pipes in the construction of their plumbing. However, cast iron pipes have been found to erode over time, leading to these pipes failing and creating water damage. What makes the situation even more problematic is that insurance companies try to delay or deny these leaky pipe water damage claims and argue that this damage is simple wear and tear.

Smoke and Fire Damage

Fires can destroy homes and property in mere minutes or leave these properties with irreversible damages. The heat that results from the flames can cause furniture and surrounding material and objects to crack, melt, and even shatter. Even after the fire is put out, properties are still left to battle smoke damage, which can devastate any remaining contents in the home. In fact, an actual fire does not have to occur in the same room for it to suffer fire damage and smoke damage.

Typically, the most common causes of residential fires include:

  • Heating Equipment Issues (fireplace, furnace)
  • Unattended Cooking (leaving the oven on)
  • Electrical Issues (defective wires)
  • Seasonal Fires (Christmas trees, candles, fireworks)
  • Intentionally set fires
  • Smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars

Vandalism or Theft

As a property owner, if you experience theft or vandalism of your property, the situation can be extremely upsetting. Yet, even though an insurance claim may be the last thing on your mind. It is still imperative that you take specific actions following this crime, primarily because these actions can impact the amount of homeowners insurance policy you may recover.

Generally, the best thing you can do after an act of vandalism or theft is to take inventory of all your valuables and belongings. Making sure to take photos and video of everything that occurred and the damage that resulted. Additionally, make sure to take detailed notes and gather information regarding each specific item's monetary value that went missing and the current state of anything that was damaged.

Insurance companies will take into consideration many factors when assessing your claim due to vandalism or theft, including what was stolen, can you prove ownership of these items, and whether the property was vacant.

Termite Damage Insurance Claims

For such a small bug, termites can be one of the biggest headaches that homeowners have to deal with. Clearwater termite damage can end up costing thousands of dollars to repair and signs of an infestation do not usually become apparent until a hive has chewed through a significant portion of wood. Property owners that look to insurance claims to cover the damage inflicted by a termite infestation are often disappointed to discover that their policy has language that excludes coverage in cases such as this. 

Just because a property insurance company has denied your claim or told you that you cannot get money to cover your termite damage does not mean that there are no options available. Consider seeking out the assistance of a termite damage lawyer to determine if there is still a way to seek coverage for termite damage to your property. 

An experienced Clearwater termite damage lawyer can comb through your policy and determine if there are any loopholes or other options that can be utilized to get you compensation. For example, despite some policies excluding coverage for termite damage, they may still have a collapse provision that can be used if your termite damage causes a collapse. 

What About Vehicle Damage in Clearwater?

Unlike damage to your home or other possessions, homeowners insurance won't cover cars and ATVs. To receive compensation for your vehicle's damage, you could file a claim under your car insurance. Like most other situations we've discussed, your ability to file a claim depends on whether you have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle.

As the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) explains, the state's minimum requirements for car insurance include $10,000 in property damage liability. However, that is for property damage you cause in a motor vehicle accident, not damage done to your vehicle by another party or a natural disaster. As a result, if you only have the minimum amount of coverage required by law, you may not be covered for certain types of vehicle damage.

By contrast, comprehensive coverage could help with:

  • Repairs to your vehicle
  • Funds for a new vehicle if yours is totaled
  • Renting a car while yours is in the shop

Like many other property damage claims, your insurance company may try to argue that the circumstances of your vehicle's damage aren't covered. That could include blaming another party for causing the damage, attempting to blame you for the damage, or claiming a specific event wasn't covered. Our team has experience working on auto claims and the many excuses used not to pay. We can help you through every step of the process.

When a Car Accident Causes Property Damage

As mentioned, if you carry the minimum amount of auto insurance, you may face challenges for certain property damage claims. That being said, if someone else caused your property damage in an accident, you could pursue them for compensation on top of other damages. In this scenario, you can file a claim through their insurance policy.

However, many Floridians are underinsured or lack insurance entirely. The III ranks the state sixth in the country for uninsured motorists, with over 20 percent of drivers lacking proper insurance coverage. If you were hit by one of these drivers, you can only receive up to their policy limits if they are underinsured. If they are uninsured, you may need to pursue a lawsuit to retrieve compensation.

If you have an auto property damage claim in Clearwater, our lawyers can assist you with both filing insurance claims and lawsuits to recover what you need for your vehicle. If someone else caused your property damage, we can hold them accountable with evidence of their fault, testimony from experts, and other resources. Insurance adjusters and negligent parties can't bully us.

What About Other Types of Vehicles?

While motor vehicles require separate car insurance, other vehicles may actually be covered by your homeowners insurance.

That includes:

  • Recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Campers
  • Boats
  • Trailers

However, exceptions or limitations might exist. For instance, your policy may only cover a certain amount of damage, but not enough to fully cover your repairs. The place where you store your boat or vehicle may also affect your coverage options.

Consult Dolman Law Group if you have coverage for a vehicle that your insurance is not willing to honor. We can also explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit against a negligent party if one of these vehicles sustained damage.

Clearwater Personal Property Damages

In addition to real property damages, which include damage to land, homes, and business properties.

Property damages can also extend to a wide variety of personal property items that include:

  • Motor vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Laptops and other electronics such as TVs
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Instruments
  • Boats and personal watercrafts

Although some of these items are covered by separate insurance policies, it is still important to understand that homeowner's insurance, in general, is incredibly complicated and can contain numerous exclusions when it comes to coverage. For example, a detached garage on your property may not be covered by your homeowners' policy. For these reasons, if you experienced any personal property damage due to another person's negligent or intentional actions, you need to talk to a knowledgeable property damage lawyer that can review your coverage and fight for the compensation you are owed.

Types of Compensation You Can Receive for Property Damage

Property damage claims typically pay the actual cash value of an item rather than what you originally paid for it. Think of it this way—your insurance company's goal is to do its best to return you to the circumstances prior to the damage. Thus, you wouldn't necessarily get a brand-new car; you would receive funds equivalent to what your car was worth at the time of the damage.

This isn't true of all property damage claims. While cars depreciate in value, other items do not. Antiques and collectibles, for instance, increase in value as time goes on. Other items stay relatively static in value. In those cases, you can receive compensation for what the item is worth at the current market value.

We can make sure your insurance company properly appraises the value of your items. In other words, receiving compensation isn't just about making a list of what you've lost, but also about estimating the worth of those losses.

How We Identify Your Losses

Depending on what was damaged or lost, to estimate your case's value, we can use evidence like:

  • Receipts or other evidence of sale
  • Provenance documentation
  • Photo albums or scrapbooks
  • Pictures and videos of the damage
  • Appraisals done prior to the damage
  • Estimates given after the damage
  • Detailed inventories
  • Market value comparisons

Sometimes, we simply need to prove you owned something. In other cases, we need to highlight that your property was a specific brand or by a specific artist to accurately gauge its value.

Although anything you can provide is helpful, it's important to note that some insurance companies may ask for more information than what's reasonable. This isn't your failing, rather, a tactic to discourage you from seeking damages. Requiring property owners to jump through outlandish hoops or provide excessive evidence to honor a policy is not an ethical practice. Dolman Law Group can advocate for you if this happens.

Replacement Versus Repairs: We Get What Suits You

When an insurance adjuster evaluates your damages, they will consider if an item can be repaired or needs replacing. This can turn into a point of contention. The adjuster will naturally lean toward approving whatever is the cheapest option rather than what suits your actual needs.

Second opinions and expert analysis come in handy in these cases. Getting independent estimates can highlight the true cost of repairs versus replacement, challenging the estimate made by your insurer.

You don't need to worry about getting estimates and analyses on your own. In disputes over receiving compensation for replacements, we can find experts for you, utilizing contacts we trust or seeking out reputable contractors, appraisers, and analysts. If you think your property damage is too severe to merely fix, our team can assert that.

What Are the Steps for Filing a Property Damage Claim?

We can support you through most of your claim, but you can also take your own steps.

Typically, your side of the claims process involves:

  1. Contacting your insurer and providing basic details of the incident, as well as your contact information
  2. Protecting your property from additional damage
  3. Creating an inventory of your losses
  4. Compiling documentation to back up your inventory
  5. Keeping receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses
  6. Meeting with the insurance adjuster for the inspection
  7. Getting a second opinion on estimates, if necessary

You can bring us into the case at any point during this process.

Document Your Interactions With Insurance Providers

In addition to documenting your losses, we encourage you to keep track of the information provided by your insurance company.

We can take over your case-related communications, but in the times you must talk with the insurer yourself, try to write down:

  • Names of insurance company employees you talk to
  • Dates and times of all interactions
  • Questions you asked and answers given
  • Promises or instructions provided by adjusters
  • The timeline you were told for your claim
  • Estimates or other financial information it provides

You don't have to write down every word spoken in every phone call with the claims adjusters. Just keep track of the major details. Having this information on hand can help hold insurance companies to their word, even if that word was not in writing.

Filing Deadlines in Clearwater Property Damage Cases

Clearwater Property Damage Case

The statute of limitations is a law that limits how much time you have to bring a lawsuit over a legal dispute or harm that you suffered. If you do not bring this suit within the allotted time, then you can be barred from collecting compensation for your damages.

In Florida, if your property is damaged, you have four-years to bring a lawsuit seeking the replacement or repair of damaged or destroyed property, no matter if the property is considered real property or personal property.

According to Florida's laws, this time limit applies to the following property damage situations:

  • Property damage resulting from the planning or actual construction of a project related to real property.
  • Any actions that are founded on negligence.
  • Any action for detaining, taking, or damaging personal property (this can include damages to vehicles, furniture, jewelry, or other personal items).

However, this timeline may extend or shorten depending on the circumstances. As a result, speak with an experienced property damage lawyer as quickly as possible. When you contact the attorneys at Dolman Law Group, we can review your case and determine precisely how much time you have to file.

Our Lawyers Protect You From Bad Faith Practices in Property Damage Claims

Ultimately, insurers value their bottom lines over their clients. Sometimes, that just means they will offer the lowest possible compensation amount. Other times, it means they will deliberately undervalue your losses and refuse to offer you more. While the former is frustrating, the latter is actually grounds for legal action.

When insurance companies resort to unethical, unfair, or underhanded business practices, they are operating in bad faith. Instead of upholding the minimum requirements of their agreement with you—such as by offering the lower end of their estimate of your damage—they actively avoid upholding their agreement at all. In these cases, our property damage lawyers can pursue a bad faith case against your Clearwater insurer.

What Are Examples of Bad Faith Behavior by Insurance?

Bad faith actions can come in many forms, some of which are subtle.

You could have grounds for a bad faith case if your insurer is:

  • Not investigating your claim properly
  • Failing to return calls
  • Deliberately stalling the claims process
  • Underestimating the value of your damages
  • Making you jump through unnecessary hoops
  • Unfairly denying a valid claim
  • Failing to provide a reason for denying your claim
  • Misleading you about the terms of your policy
  • Failing to uphold your policy

Some of these tactics take advantage of your ignorance. For instance, you may not know how long it should take to process your claim, or that you should receive updates about its progression. Complicating matters are natural disaster claims, which can overwhelm the adjusters and innocently stall the process with no bad faith involved.

Even so, you should not have to have a law degree or a background in insurance just to have a claim processed efficiently and honestly. If you feel taken advantage of or neglected by an insurance company, we can conduct an investigation to determine if it's acting in bad faith.

Florida's Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights Grants Certain Protections

To better protect its citizens, the Florida Department of Financial Services has a bill of rights for homeowners outlining the treatment they should expect after filing a claim. That includes timelines for certain aspects of the process. For instance, within the following periods, you should expect your insurance company to accomplish various tasks.

Consider the following timelines:

  • Within 14 days of filing a claim: Acknowledgement that you filed a claim
  • Within 30 days of a proof-of-loss statement: A ruling on your claim or a notice of its investigation
  • Within 90 days of your claim filing: Settlement, payment, or denial of your claim

The Bill of Rights also highlights other options for pursuing compensation or disputing a claim. At Dolman Law Group, we fight to uphold these and other rights, as well as empower our clients with additional knowledge about the property damage claims process.

We Can Help You With a Bad Faith Claim in Clearwater

Battling bad faith practices with our team's help doesn't mean immediately heading to court.

Instead, we can work to:

  • Push adjusters to stop stalling on your claim
  • Provide evidence supporting the value of your losses
  • Handle all communications with adjusters
  • Conduct an independent investigation of your damage
  • Negotiate for a proper settlement amount

All of this can happen prior to filing a lawsuit for bad faith. Typically, Florida law sets the statute of limitations at five years for suing an insurance company for bad faith. We can accomplish a lot in that timeframe, so don't hesitate to reach out for help from our team. We can call out bad practices and potentially reach an agreement out of court.

However, we are still willing to go to court to hold an unethical insurance company accountable for resorting to unacceptable tactics. We are proud of our experience as trial lawyers and are willing to go as far as possible to resolve your case.

What About Damage Caused by Another Person? Can I File a Claim?

Although they may seem drastically different, cases involving property damage due to an individual's actions can follow a similar path to those caused by a weather event or similar disaster. If someone deliberately or accidentally caused your property losses, your case will likely take the same course—filing with your homeowners or car insurance to recover compensation for repairs or reimbursement.

That being said, what sets these scenarios apart is that, unlike property damage caused by a hurricane or a tornado, you can potentially hold a specific person accountable for your losses. If someone caused your damage, you could pursue additional compensation through a civil suit against them.

Cases Involving Theft or Vandalism

Your homeowners insurance should cover losses related to a break-in or if someone vandalized your home. For your vehicle, your coverage will depend on what policy you have, just as we mentioned earlier. Just like with damage done in other scenarios, you will need to provide a list of what was taken or damaged. Specify as much as possible.

If the thief or vandal gets caught, you can also pursue a lawsuit against them to recover the items or get reimbursement. However, this could depend on the circumstances of the theft. Our property damage attorneys can evaluate your case individually and explain more.

Cases Involving Accidental Damage

Despite being called “accidental” damage, you can still hold someone liable for their negligence. For instance, careless action when installing wiring or plumbing in your home could be grounds for a case if it damaged your property.

Negligence could cause:

  • Fires
  • Flooding
  • Other water damage
  • Mold
  • Structural damage

As an example, a construction company working on renovations to your bathroom could have done a lackadaisical job, resulting in a leaky pipe that caused mold to grow behind the walls. Finally, the pipe burst, flooding part of your home. You could file a property damage lawsuit against the construction company to recover compensation for both the flood and the mold damage.

Our Property Damage Lawyers Help You Pursue the Correct Party

Our property damage attorneys can assist with Clearwater theft, vandalism, or negligence cases in several ways, including:

  • Identifying the responsible party or parties
  • Gathering proof of negligence or criminal activity
  • Compiling evidence regarding your losses' value
  • Building a case using evidence and testimony
  • Negotiating a settlement out of court
  • Pursuing the case in court if necessary

These types of cases have statutes of limitations as well. However, tolling exceptions may apply. In the case of theft or vandalism, for instance, the clock may not start running until the authorities identify the perpetrator. After all, if you don't know who to pursue, you can't file within the deadline.

Just like with bad faith claims, we can use the time before the statute of limitations is up to build your case and potentially reach an agreement outside of court. So, don't delay in reaching out after suffering a loss or damage due to someone's actions.

Property Damage Claims Versus Criminal Theft or Vandalism Cases

Being the victim of a crime can make recovering from your losses all the more confusing. If law enforcement found the perpetrator, they become the subject of a criminal case. Some victims may assume they need to wait until the person gets convicted to take any private action against them with a civil suit.

On the contrary, you can pursue a civil suit at any time. In fact, the outcome of the criminal case won't have any bearing on the outcome of the civil case. Both are independent of each other. In some cases, the other party may not have even been charged with a crime.

The goal of a civil case is not to prove someone is guilty of a crime beyond a shadow of a doubt. That is the requirement for a criminal case. Instead, a civil case's goal is to show that there is a preponderance of evidence that the other party caused your losses. Our attorneys can handle a civil property damage lawsuit, representing you in negotiations and in court, regardless of how a criminal case concludes.

How Can Dolman Law Group Assist Me Following a Clearwater Property Damage Incident?

Dolman Law Group is just one phone call away for Clearwater property damage claimants. Our lawyers have experience not only with reluctant or unethical insurance companies, but also with what you are going through. We have helped others in your situation, and we know how stressful, frustrating, and emotional it can feel to fight for what you need.

Matthew A Dolman Esq
Clearwater Property Damage Attorney, Matt Dolman

Some of the specific ways we can assist you and your claim include:

  • We can go over your case in detail, answer your questions and concerns, and discuss the possible legal options you can pursue.
  • Investigate your accident and figure out what happened and who was at fault.
  • Provide you with a thorough contract overview. Many times insurance policies are complex agreements that many people just do not understand. Our attorneys can help you figure out and decipher your policies.
  • Handle communications with the insurance adjusters, preventing them from eliciting statements during the claims investigations that can devalue your claim.
  • Take over the negotiation process with these deceitful insurance companies and go after the demands and results you want.
  • If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, we can take your case to trial and build a potent offense. Advocating for you in the courtroom and going after the compensation you want for your damaged property.

At your free consultation, you will receive answers to your questions with no obligations. We can provide information about whether you have a case against an insurance company or other party, how to take the next steps, and what your rights are when dealing with a property damage claim. Contact our office now at (727) 451-6900 to start your claim!

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: (727) 451-6900


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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