Fire is the most common and costly cause of property damage in Florida
Even if you take precautions, your home or business may be damaged or destroyed by a fire. In Florida, fires can be caused by a natural disaster such as a wild fire or lightning, or they can be caused by poor maintenance or carelessness such as candles, cigarettes, or electrical fires. It can start with a spark and quickly become a raging fire.
Fire damage can be extensive. Your homeowners or business property damage insurance should cover you no matter how severe the fire damage. Your policy should allow you to restore or rebuild your property after the fire. It should also reimburse you for living expenses while your home is being repaired and restored. In addition, business property insurance usually covers lost business income.
After a fire, your property may have fire, water and smoke damage
Even if the fire is small, contained and does not spread throughout the property, fire damage is only part of the damage. First responders will do whatever is necessary to rescue people and extinguish the fire. This includes breaking windows and doors, damaging roofs and walls, and drenching your property with water and chemicals.
Water and smoke damage can be more difficult to fix and have longer lasting effects. The humidity in Florida can cause toxic mold to form and spread rapidly, requiring you to repaint or replace your walls and floors. Smoke cannot be removed from fabrics, so you may need to replace furniture and curtains. Because repairing damage after a fire can be very expensive and time sensitive, it’s important that your insurance claim be processed quickly and fairly.
Fire victims deserve fair and quick compensation for property damage claims
Fire claims can be complicated and damage can be extensive. It’s hard to know what to do first. The Red Cross has these guidelines for what to do after a fire, including:
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Begin the claims process by providing a general description of the damage.
- Make a list of damaged or lost item. Provide receipts if possible. Take pictures and videos of the damage to support your claim.
- Don’t throw away or destroy damaged items. Keep damaged items until a claims adjuster has visited your home.
- Save receipts for all additional expenses. While your home is being repaired or restored, you may have living expenses (lodging, meals…) and expenses for repairs and other supplies.
- Copy all documents and pictures given to your insurance company.
- Consult with a fire damage attorney.
According to Florida law, insurance companies must pay your claim within 90 days of your submitting it. But sometimes this does not happen, and a fire claims lawyer can help your get the money you need to start rebuilding your home and your life. An experienced attorney can help you ensure that you are getting the compensation you deserve within a reasonable time period.
Get Help From Experienced Florida Fire Damage Attorneys
With experienced and skilled lawyers on staff, Johnson, & Williams, P.A. is a leader in fire claims settlement negotiation. Schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss the appropriate steps to get the compensation you deserve. Your consultation will always be free, and there is a good chance that your insurance company will pay our fees. Our lawyers help homeowners and business owners in Orlando, Winter Haven and Kissimmee who have fire damage and losses. We are ready to help you. Call us at (407) 245-1268 or contact us online.