Fire, flooding, burglary, a traffic accident and even a natural disaster can cause significant damage to valuable and vital property, which can affect the rest of one’s life. People who have lost their homes as a result of a fire, for example, may find themselves homeless and with no property at all and, as a result, they may suffer terrible circumstances, which include: Not working for a long time, having to find temporary solutions and losing a lot of money.
This is in addition to their horrible mental state because of the fact that they are left with nothing. In most cases, insurance policies are able to cover the extent of the damage caused, although the initial tendency of these companies is to evade their responsibility for full coverage and to reject property damage suits, claiming that the damage is not as significant as claimed.
In order to realize your right to receive monetary compensation that will provide financial relief and the ability to re-establish the property that has been damaged or lost, you should use the help of a property damage lawyer, who handles the claims in accordance with the various insurance companies and, if necessary, the court. Proper legal conduct will bring those who suffered property damage to the realization of their rights along with appropriate advice and guidance throughout the process.
Types of damages and how to act accordingly:
Flooding – With heavy rain during the winter months, many people may suffer as a result of flooding in their homes in a way that completely disables their electrical appliances, furniture and other important objects. In some cases, leakage may also occur from the walls of the house or the ceiling, which shows that damage was caused to the house itself. If you have an apartment insurance policy, apartment contents insurance policy or business insurance policy, you can sue the insurance company.
If there is a situation, in which the amount of money given to you is not satisfactory for one reason or another – you should immediately turn to a lawyer for legal representation. The statute of limitations for flooding cases is three years from the date of flooding, but this date may be extended if a lawsuit is filed.
Fire – Cases of home damage, property damage or damage to the business as a result of fire, entitle the holders of the private policies to compensation fees, regardless of the liability for the fire. Even in cases where gas leaked from a certain apartment, or when one of the children played with something that caused the building or its contents to catch fire, a lawsuit should be accordingly filed. Even in the case when the insurance company gives out a sum that’s too low or, God forbid, rejects the claim, a legal proceeding can be conducted before a judge. If the case is not conducted in a court of law, the statute of limitations will be in effect for three years only.
Burglary – One of the most disturbing events experienced by most people throughout their lives is a case of burglary and theft of valuable contents. Home invasion and theft can cause trauma to many people as a result of loss of hard-earned objects or contents of sentimental value. The owners of the private insurance companies will be able to file a claim to their insurance company, but will also be entitled to conduct a legal action in a situation where the insurance company has compensated the victims with a small monetary compensation that does not reflect the value of the stolen property. In this case too, there is a statute of limitations for three years, unless it is conducted in court.
Vehicle damage – Vehicle burglary, traffic accidents and even damage caused by flooding or the fall of a tree, count as vehicle damage. If you are insured for this, you should sue the insurance company for the comprehensive car insurance, or third party insurance in addition to the driver responsible for the damage, if any. Receiving compensation from the insurance company is supposed to be part of a fast and efficient process, because this is exactly the reason for purchasing car insurance. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that the insurance companies try to evade their responsibility to pay the full amount and try, according to the “Success Method”, to pay much less to people whose vehicle has been damaged. In this situation, it is recommended to use a torts lawyer who will represent you in court.
Damages resulting from contracting work – Damages caused to the building at the time of execution of the project or to the professional equipment, are protected by a contractor’s work policy that insures the entrepreneur or the contractor as necessary. The policy also fits to the cases of bodily harm caused to the employees. At the same time, most of the suits make their way to court because they were handled negligently by the insurance companies – when very low compensation fees were set, which do not reflect the real damage caused and even when the claim gets rejected for various reasons. Through an experienced property damage lawyer, it is advisable to act against the insurance company in court and realize your rights.
Damage to goods in transit – When goods that go from one place to another get damaged or lost, compensation may be demanded from the insurance company that insures the contents. Many commercial companies use this type of policy to protect themselves from situations where goods get damaged for a variety of possible reasons.
In most cases, however, the compensation amount from the insurance company does not match the level of damage caused, and it is therefore advisable to use a professional legal representation in order to receive the maximum compensation, according to law.
How to file the insurance claim?
At the first stage, you will have to fill a simple notice form that is submitted to the insurance company. You will be able to get it from the insurance agent or from the insurance company’s website. Please read the instructions and requirements of the form carefully and fill in all the required details. This form should include the documents that document the damage, such as: A police report following theft or burglary, a memo from the fire department about a fire that broke out, a letter from a party that dealt with the damage to your property, etc. Additional no less important forms can document the loss of working days, financial damages, medical documents and certificates, photographs of the damage and more.
In most cases, the insurance company will ask for additional clarifications on your part, including cooperation with an investigator on behalf of the company. It is important to note that in some cases the insurance company will conduct an undercover investigation, in which it will attempt to estimate the damage to your property and collect any piece of information that will allow it to justify lower compensations than those you actually deserve. It is important to know that not every requirement from the insurance company is mandatory by law; therefore, it is very important to use the help of your property damage lawyer in order to understand the legal significance of these requirements and how to act.
The insurance company that receives all the information it needs, will inform you in writing of its position regarding the compensation. Although the claim was backed up by many documents, it may eventually be rejected for various reasons. If your claim was rejected by the insurance company or the amount of compensation determined is inconsistent with the damage, you can file a lawsuit with the help of a lawyer against the insurance company and allow the judge to rule accordingly. Legal support from an experienced lawyer, in the relevant insurance field, will allow you to achieve a significant advantage and increase your chances of receiving a high and suitable amount of money.
Attorneys of our office specialize in property damage claims and handles lawsuits against the causes of damage and insurance companies. The firm’s staff, headed by Adv. Miskevich, accompanies the clients who experienced damage, harm or loss of their property throughout the entire process, from the first moment until the full realization of their rights.
*The above article is by no means a legal advice; any use of this information is solely under the reader’s responsibility.