When your home is damaged by a fire or a flood, the damage can be extensive. You may have to make structural repairs, replace or attempt to restore damaged belongings, and even pay to stay in a hotel or rental while your home is fixed. In extreme cases, you may even have to rebuild your entire home.
Your insurance claim should help you pay for it all, but the process of filing can be a difficult one, and you could be left with substantial expenses if you don’t receive fair payment from the insurance company.
Working with a property damage lawyer can help you through the insurance claim process. If you’re not sure where to start looking for assistance, these steps should help you find a property damage lawyer who can make sure your claim goes smoothly.
#1 Initiate Your Insurance Claim
Whether you decide to work with a property damage lawyer, you should not wait to inform your insurance provider that you have experienced a loss. The first thing you should do is call your insurance company and let them know about the loss, as a delay in reporting can result in scrutiny from the insurer.
Next, you will want to initiate your claim in writing. This is when you may want to look for assistance from a lawyer.
#2 Find a Property Damage Lawyer
Start with a search: property damage lawyers near me. Of the options that pop up, look for someone who has experience negotiating with insurance companies, the knowledge to know when their clients are being treated unfairly, and who understands the kind of tragic loss you’re going through.
Losing your home to a fire is an emotional ordeal. It will help to have someone on your side who understands what you’re going through and knows how they can make it easier for you to get through.
#3 Get a Free Claim Review
Not all claims require the help of a lawyer. Generally speaking, smaller claims may be something you can handle on your own, while more significant claims will be worth hiring a professional. A lawyer can review your claim if you’re not sure.
The lawyer should also tell if you are at risk of having your claim denied. There are several reasons insurance companies may deny your claim, including:
- Misrepresenting your loss
- Not having coverage for the type of damage that occurred
- Forgetting to pay your premiums
More importantly, they can help make sure you don’t accidentally do something that could put your claim at risk.
#4 Work with the Property Damage Lawyer Throughout the Claim
Finally, the property damage lawyer can advise and guide you throughout the claim. They can keep you on track, explain legal documents, and help you meet your responsibilities to the insurance company, such as creating a Schedule of Loss that outlines all of your lost belongings.
They can also identify any warning signs in the process, such as a lack of communication or fundamental disagreements with the insurance company. They should know how to negotiate through these issues and make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.