Storm Damage Lawyer Orlando
If you live in Orlando, storms are part of your life. As homeowners, we must make preparations when storm warnings come regularly between June and November.
From tropical depressions to high-category hurricanes, we get the lot. Some recent powerful storms here have caused extensive damage to homes and commercial buildings.
Sometimes, despite taking all the recommended precautions, hurricane winds, hail, and rain get the better of our homes. Roofs, shingles, windows, siding… do not stand a chance.
You may think that you have adequate insurance coverage for damage and your premiums are all paid up to date. However, getting paid by the insurance company in a storm damage claim is another matter. It is rarely a straightforward process and generally involves wrangling with loss adjusters, taking much longer than expected.
A storm damage lawyer can take up the burden of communicating with the insurance company to claim the reimbursement you need for repairs. At Johnson, & Williams P.A. in Orlando, our lawyers work diligently to help you get what you deserve from your storm damage insurance claim.
Types of storm damage in Florida
Heavy storms can cause damage to almost any area of your property from the main structure itself (roof, windows, siding, and water damage inside the home) to the vehicles, garage, swimming pool, and more.
Sometimes, multiple elements combine to wreak havoc not only on your home – but on entire neighborhoods.
Most typically, we see the following types of storm damage in the Orlando area:
- Roof damage from strong winds
Most roofs are susceptible to some form of wind damage.
With the high speeds of hurricane-force or tropical storm winds, shingles can bend, crack or tear-off and roofs can develop holes at their weakest points. Even a category-one hurricane can cause major damage. At category three, entire roofs may be blown off.
While roofs are the most serious victims of wind damage, windows, siding, doors, and outdoor living areas can all be damaged by storm-force winds that pick up large objects, turning them into high-speed projectiles attacking all parts of your property.
- Water damage
The “double-whammy” with roof and window damage is that it often leads to water damage as heavy rains can enter the interior of the home.
Storm surge and floods can easily damage your home or business too, causing extensive water damage to the inside of your home.
However, you need to check your homeowners’ insurance policy carefully. Water damage is treated separately to flood damage. In Florida, most standard insurance companies cover water damage from heavy rain but not from floodwater that has entered the home from the ground. That generally requires a separate flood insurance policy.
Water damage is a frequent bone of contention in storm damage claims as insurance companies often contest that the damage was flood-related and, therefore, not covered.
- Hail damage
Hailstorms cause countless millions of dollars of damage to properties all over the country and Florida is not immune.
The force from balls of ice hitting your home from high above should not be underestimated. Even so-called “hail-proof” roofs struggle with larger hailstones. Windows, cars, and siding can also be damaged.
- Window damage
As well as damage from hail, windows in your home can be damaged by strong winds literally blowing them out. Skylights may also be damaged or destroyed.
Damage may be caused by the wind itself or projectiles that are picked up by the wind and hurled against your windows.
When evaluating wind damage to your home, be sure to look for cracks or chips in window glass.
- Lightning and fire damage
Lightning during storms can trigger fires on your property and even affect the interior of your home, damaging electrical equipment, appliances, and more.
Downed power lines during tropical storms can also threaten your home with electrical fires.
What should you do after the storm?
Once the winds have died down and it’s safe to start the clean-up process, thoughts inevitably turn to repairing or replacing anything that has been damaged.
Damage to roofing, siding, and windows may seem especially urgent to repair to prevent further water damage. While it’s tempting to start repairs immediately, it may be best to hold off, find temporary accommodation (if necessary), document the damage, and seek legal advice from a storm damage attorney in Orlando.
Survey the damage to your home and property, make notes and take photos of everything affected. Try to find receipts for any items of property that have been damaged. Then contact one of our local storm damage lawyers to assist you in making your claim.
We may recommend that you hire an independent appraiser to assess the damage.
Going it alone is an option but do not expect the insurance company to treat you as a priority. After big storms, they are inundated with claims, and homeowners are frequently kept waiting – even then they may not receive what they are due.
Cleaning up after a storm is bad enough but now you have to deal with an insurance company that is looking to minimize payouts.
How can a storm damage attorney help with disputed or denied claims?
You have never missed an insurance premium payment because you knew that this day might come. Despite the damage, you’re not worried because you’re fully covered by homeowners’ insurance.
Repairs can run into thousands and now you need your insurance company to come good. But your claim is disputed, delayed, underpaid, or completely denied.
How can this be? The first reaction from homeowners is often disbelief and anger. Then they call us.
We are used to dealing with insurance companies who want to minimize their losses. They frequently offer unreasonable assessments knowing that some homeowners are desperate for help in paying the repair bills.
Patience, courage, and dogged perseverance are necessary qualities when confronted by this situation.
Our storm damage lawyers are familiar with how much homeowners should receive for various types of storm damage. We will examine your policy and pressure the insurance company into accepting a reasonable settlement.
Most insurance companies know that they cannot “trick” us and do not want to end up at trial so will try to settle out of court – but we are ready for court if necessary.
We can help you claim for the costs of repairs/replacements, construction costs (which are often inflated after a storm), removing debris, and any additional living expenses you incur for temporary accommodation.
We will manage communications with your insurance company and ensure you are near the top of the pile.
Under Florida Law, if we win your case, the insurance company pays our fees and costs, separated from your award of property damage. We don’t take a portion of your damages to pay our fee.
Trust our experienced Orlando storm damage lawyers
Whatever type of damage your property has suffered, we can help you with the complex process of filing a storm damage claim and negotiating a fair settlement.
Our storm damage attorneys will fight for your interests in or out of court regardless of whether your claim has been delayed, denied, or underpaid.
Call now for a consultation at (407) 245-1268 or please fill out the contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.