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Florida Hurricane Damage Lawyer
Florida residents have to accept that hurricanes are part of the reality of living in this beautiful state. When a hurricane hits, home and property owners may have to deal with many unpleasant consequences. Facing the tragedy of serious injuries and death is difficult enough. But many residents must also face insurance companies who refuse to provide full or fair compensation for their damage claims.
If you or someone close to you has experienced a serious storm and cannot get a reasonable settlement from the insurance company, Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, is ready to help you. Since 1975, we have fought for justice and compensation for clients throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. We will fight for you, too.
Call us today toll-free at 1-800-299-8878 or take a moment to send in our online form. We can provide a free review of your insurance case and represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means that we won’t charge any fees or costs unless we secure a recovery for you.
Hurricanes Cause Florida Property Damage
Hurricanes can be devastating. During hurricane season, thousands of people are either injured or killed. In addition, property is often destroyed and needs to be completely rebuilt.
Strong winds are one of the most disastrous aspects of a hurricane. These winds have the capacity to uproot trees, throw cars long distances and level buildings to the ground. When winds exceed 74 mph, the storm is classified as a hurricane. Sometimes winds can far surpass this minimum speed, however, reaching as high as 200 miles per hour.
Storm surges are another dangerous aspect of hurricanes. This rising sea level occurs due to low pressure, high winds and high waves. Surges of this nature are characteristic of a hurricane coming in contact with land. This can mean significant flooding of property. In addition, people who are caught in a storm surge usually don’t survive.
Not only do storm surges often result in flooding, but heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes can also cause flood damage. Although a hurricane moving inland may begin to deteriorate, heavy rainfall may still exist and leave quite a bit of destruction behind.
In recent years, several hurricanes have passed through Florida, leaving fatalities and destruction in their wake. In particular, Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida, southwest Louisiana and the northwestern part of the Bahamas in 1992, creating as much as $34 billion in damages. Although 26 people died as a direct result of this storm and 39 secondary fatalities occurred, the death toll was low, considering the extreme decimation of land and property involved.
Filing a Florida First-Party Insurance Claim for Hurricane Damage
After experiencing the terror and chaos of a hurricane, there are many things that you must immediately address. It can be confusing to figure out how to prioritize the steps to take in such a terrible situation. But first and foremost, you should always make the need for any medical attention your top priority.
Once you have resolved any urgent medical matters, it’s time to look at taking care of property damage. If you own insured property that has been destroyed or if you are named in any insurance of this property, you are entitled to file a first-party insurance claim. By making such a claim, your property has to fall into one of the following categories:
- The property must have some sort of structural damage;
- The property must be damaged from fire or some kind of severe weather such as a hurricane;
- The property must be the site of a robbery or theft; or
- Debris removal must have caused some sort of damage to the property.
Homeowner’s insurance can help as you begin to rebuild any aspect of your destroyed property. This policy covers damage that can take place due to disasters such as fires and storms. In addition, a policy of this type may insure the owner for any accidental injury or death that can be considered his or her legal responsibility. Standard parts of a homeowner’s insurance policy usually cover the following parts:
- The dwelling
- Other structures on the property
- Personal property
- Loss of use of property/additional living expenses
- Personal liability
- Medical costs to others
- Additional coverage
Homeowners’ insurance may focus on the coverage of a house, but it also can be used to insure other kinds of residential structures. Condominium owners and renters are able to purchase this kind of insurance for their dwellings as well.
Just because you have insurance does not mean that all of the damages to your property will be paid for through your policy. What your insurance covers depends on the policy’s wording. If you find that the phrasing is unclear, you may need the legal guidance of a lawyer to help interpret the exact coverage you can expect from your insurance company.
Overall, it can be very helpful to have an attorney to assist you through the process of appraising and negotiating your first-party insurance claim. A lawyer who is experienced with claims of this nature is able to take the insurance company to court, if you are unsuccessful in obtaining a reasonable settlement with this provider on your own.
Disputes with Insurance Companies
Living through a terrible hurricane is hard enough. You shouldn’t have to battle your insurance company for the compensation you need and deserve. That’s why the Florida hurricane damage lawyers of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, are here to help if your insurance company refuses to provide you with a fair settlement.
Unfortunately, it’s common for insurance companies to enter into disputes with their clients over coverage and payments. Denials or unreasonable settlement offers can include:
- Homeowner’s insurance claims
- Business property insurance claims
- Damaged contents
- Property depreciation
- Distribution of insurance payments.
Contact a Florida Hurricane Damage Lawyer Today
Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, is dedicated to negotiating with insurance companies so that you don’t have to deal with frustrating circumstances at such a devastating time. To learn more, call us today toll-free at 1-800-299-8878 or use our online contact form. We can provide you with a free initial case evaluation.