In What Ways Does a Lawyer Help Following a Fire Damage Claim?
A fire can lead to devastating financial, medical and personal consequences. In addition to losing your home, fire damage can quickly cause thousands of dollars in repair costs. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you and your loved ones can seek compensation for your financial and physical injuries.
Each year, the National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are 346,800 home structure fires. In just 2019, fires caused $14.8 billion in financial losses. Unfortunately, many homeowners end up bearing a large portion of these costs. If your insurance company will not cover your losses, a fire damage attorney can help.
Basically, a fire damage attorney works to protect your legal rights and prove who was responsible for the fire. Unfortunately, many fires happen because a third party is negligent or careless. A skilled lawyer can help you figure out whether you have a valid claim. Then, they can discuss the legal steps you can take.
If it turns out someone else is negligent for the fire damage, you may have a legal case against them. Your fire injury lawyer will need to show that there is a direct cause-result relationship between the person’s actions and your injuries. In some cases, these cases do not even go to trial. Instead, the other party settles the case outside of court.
When you work with a California attorney, they can help you avoid a formal trial. Personal injury lawyers are talented at negotiating settlements outside of court. If you have questions about the process, contact JT Legal Group today.
How Does a California Attorney Help With a Fire Damage Claim?
While it is possible to file a fire damage claim on your own, there are a number of reasons why you might want to work with a fire damage attorney. Your lawyer is the only person involved who is hired exclusively to protect your legal interests. Insurance companies and third parties want to spend as little money as possible, so they will do everything they can to reduce your settlement.
If you want to obtain fair compensation, it is important to seek professional help. A lawyer knows how to prepare cases and how much compensation you deserve. Additionally, they can use forensic experts and experienced investigators to help you compile evidence. You can guarantee that insurance companies have excellent lawyers on their staff. If you want your case to have a better chance, you need to level the playing field by getting a talented California attorney as well.
The Job of a Fire Damage Attorney
It is your lawyer’s job to help you build an insurance claim after you have experienced fire-related losses. In theory, your insurance company should pay compensation based on your insurance policy’s provisions. Unfortunately, insurance claims are never this simple. Normally, an insurance company will do everything it can to avoid paying a large claim.
Your lawyer can read through your contract and spot nuanced details. They are skilled at understanding depreciation, total losses, negligence and similar issues. Insurance companies use specific formulas for awarding damages, and an experienced lawyer knows how to use these formulas.
Your attorney is especially important if the insurance company decides that it wants to investigate your fire damage claim. Some insurance companies will go through hundreds of documents during the investigation process. Each document is another opportunity for something to go wrong. Thanks to your lawyer, you can avoid common pitfalls and easily prepare your personal statement.
What Should You Do Following a Fire?
After a fire occurs, there are a few things you can do to protect your legal rights and your family’s safety. You will need documentation if you go to trial, so it is important to track all of your medical procedures and repair costs. As soon as a fire happens, you should take the following steps.
- Get medical help right away. You should write down the name of any doctors and caregivers to make sure you can find them if they need to testify about the patient’s medical problems in court.
- Document everything. Once everyone has received medical attention, you should take pictures and videos of everything. Other than photographing the scene of the fire, you should also document each patient’s injuries and ongoing treatment.
- Notify the owner. Some landlords like to immediately demolish buildings that have suffered from fire damage. You should notify the owner in writing that they need to wait to demolish the building until you can have a forensic fire expert check out the scene.
- Keep copies of everything. Whenever you receive a medical bill or have to pay out-of-the-pocket expenses for your injury, you should make a copy of it. You should also copy any reports and news articles related to the fire.
- Talk to an experienced attorney right away. Injured patients should never be allowed to give a statement without talking to their lawyer first.
The Benefits of Getting a Lawyer’s Help
Some people try to deal with a claim on their own. This is generally a mistake. You should never trust the insurance company when you are dealing with a major claim. Unlike your lawyer, insurers have no interest in protecting your legal rights. The insurance company’s primary concern is its bottom line, so it will try to avoid paying you the money you deserve. Whenever insurance companies can reduce the cost of your claim, they will.
Because of this, it is important to talk to a professional attorney about your claim. At our firm, we have achieved settlements worth $10 million. When you work with a skilled lawyer, you can enjoy some of the following benefits.
- They fight for you. A fire damage claim can be incredibly stressful. Your lawyer will help you deal with problems and avoid major issues.
- You can avoid being cheated. Insurance companies will often say that your policy does not cover your fire, or they will offer a low settlement. Your lawyer can help you avoid getting cheated by insurance companies and third parties.
- Lawyers help you navigate the process. The claims process can be quite confusing. Your lawyer can help you compile evidence, draft paperwork, get repair estimates, inventory your remaining items and obtain building permits.
- Your lawyer knows what you deserve. Insurance companies and third parties do not want to spend any money on your claim, so they will fight to reduce your settlement. Your lawyer knows what your claim deserves, so they can help you get a higher amount.
What Can You Be Compensated for After Suffering From Fire Damage?
A typical fire damage claim can vary significantly in value. You can be compensated for the loss of your home, medical expenses and the cost of replacing your damaged items. The level of coverage depends on your insurance policy as well as the quality of your documentation. Depending on your unique situation, your California attorney may be able to obtain a settlement that covers the following costs.
- The replacement cost of your damaged belongings.
- The cost of your home.
- Repair costs.
- Medical expenses.
- Pain and suffering.
- Disfigurement or disability.
- Future medical expenses.
- The additional living expenses you accrue because you are living outside of your home.
How to File a Fire Injury Claim
The amount of your compensation will be determined by your insurance policy. If your policy includes replacement costs, then you will receive compensation for damaged and lost personal items as well as repair costs. When an insurance adjuster arrives in your home to deal with your claim, you should always check their identification to make sure they are not a scammer.
Initially, you should strive to document all of your losses. You need to take photographs and videos of the damage. Additionally, you should gather receipts and list all of the personal items you have lost. If you or your loved ones have been injured, you should photograph the injuries, make copies of your medical records and track your medical expenses. You should also track the amount of work you have to miss because of fire-related injuries.
After the fire, you will need to take a tour of the scene with an insurance fire adjuster. Their photos will help to verify the images you have already taken. Whenever you deal with your insurance company, you should always document your conversations, texts and emails.
Each time you receive a document, you should make a copy of it. When the insurance adjuster says you can start making repairs, you should ask them to put their suggestion into writing. As your attorney works to resolve your claim, you may need to use these documents as proof.
What to Look for in a Fire Damage Attorney
After you have suffered from fire damage, it can be difficult to recover. A California attorney can help you build your case. To find a good lawyer, you should start by reading through reviews. A good lawyer will offer a free consultation to help you understand the process. Additionally, the best lawyers will be transparent about their fees and the services they provide.
If you are struggling to recover from a fire, JT Legal Group can help. We have years of experience protecting our clients’ legal rights. As a result, we have developed a track record of satisfied clients. To find out your settlement options, schedule a free case evaluation today.