How to Hire the Best Hurricane Damage Lawyer in Pennsylvania
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How to Hire the Best Hurricane Damage Lawyer in Pennsylvania
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), natural disasters cost a total of $95 billion in damages in 2020. Hurricane Laura alone caused $19 billion in damages.
Have you been affected by a hurricane? Millions of Americans are impacted financially each year by treacherous storms and hurricanes. Property damage and medical care comprise just a small portion of the expenses you’ll pay after you’ve suffered through a storm.
Yet insurance companies often fail to pay out what policyholders are due. If you’ve experienced a hurricane, you may need an attorney. In this guide, we’ll look at hiring the best hurricane damage lawyers in Pennsylvania.
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What Is Hurricane Insurance?
First things first—there’s no such thing as “hurricane insurance.” While some insurance companies may provide, for instance, flood insurance, hurricane insurance falls under other types of coverage.
Before hurricane season this year, talk to your insurance company about the types of coverage available to you. Flood insurance is a good idea, as is windstorm insurance. See, your typical homeowners’ insurance policy doesn’t cover these specific natural events. You’ll need additional coverage to protect you should a storm occur in your area.
Pennsylvania isn’t a particularly hurricane-prone state. There are certainly fewer hurricanes in the Keystone State than in, say, Florida or Texas. However, because the eastern half of the state is positioned close to the Atlantic, storm surges are a very real problem for residents. The Delaware River, in particular, is likely to flood when hurricanes approach; ensure that you’re covered by the proper insurance policy.
Why Do I Need a Hurricane Damage Lawyer?
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They have no problem with collecting money from you each month or year with a promise to protect you should your personal property be damaged.
However, most insurance companies assume that, in the event of a damaging storm, their policyholders will file a claim, take what they’re offered, and leave it at that. Unfortunately, that’s usually the case. Policyholders may not know what they’re entitled to or may simply not have the time or energy to spare in seeking compensation.
An experienced hurricane damage attorney will fight the insurance companies on your behalf to get you the money that’s owed you if you’ve experienced a hurricane or other storm. After all, your focus will be on the safety of your family and recovering from the damages to your personal property.
What Is My Insurance Company Responsible For?
Hurricane and other storm damage aren’t limited to damage caused by wind and hail. In fact, there are many types of casualties that may occur as a result of inclement weather.
To begin, your insurance company may be responsible for covering costs of alternative housing if you are displaced. Hotels and short-term apartments are pricey; let your hurricane damage attorney help you acquire reimbursement from your insurer.
Your insurance company may be responsible to cover damage to your property caused by others. For instance, your neighbor neglected to tie down his trampoline during a hurricane, and it caused significant disrepair to your property.
If you’ve hired a contractor to fix damages, and those repairs weren’t completed properly, your insurance company may be responsible to cover you. Speak with your attorney about seeking assistance with negligent workers.
Imagine your septic system is impacted by floodwaters after a hurricane. While in most states flood insurance is separate from your homeowners’ insurance, that flood insurance covers repairs to your septic system.
Finally, if your home is storm damaged by defects in the actual structure, your hurricane damage attorney will fight for you, whether by addressing the insurance company or the contractor.
As you can see, storm damage extends well beyond broken windows and downed trees. Speak with a hurricane damage attorney in Pennsylvania to discuss compensation you may be due after a storm.
Insurance Claim Delays Following a Hurricane
Victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters are suddenly faced with an overwhelming to-do list. First and foremost, the health and safety of your family is essential to consider. Do you have adequate housing following a storm? Food? Water? Medical attention?
Then, of course, your home and vehicle repairs must be addressed. You’ll be in communication with the insurers of both, with repair shops, contractors and other businesses. Because others in your area suffered damages as well, you may find yourself playing a waiting game.
While a hurricane damage attorney can’t help you call masons or mechanics, we can assist you in dealing with your insurance companies. Again, there are likely many other victims in your area who are suffering damages. Insurance companies will be overwhelmed, which usually means one of several things.
- The insurance companies will be paying out to many people. Again, they’re for-profit businesses and will absolutely attempt to pay out the lowest amount possible.
- Your insurer will be dealing with an influx of calls and claims. Your payment may be delayed at best, if you can manage to reach a representative.
- Your insurer may deliberately delay the processing of your claim, or even inform you that they “can’t find” your policy.
No matter the circumstances, it’s best to hire a hurricane damage attorney. The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan are prepared to help you fight insurers to get what you’re entitled to.
Hiring the Best Hurricane Damage Lawyers in Pennsylvania
Now that you understand how important legal representation is if you’ve experienced a damaging storm, it’s time to seek out the best hurricane damage lawyers in Pennsylvania. There are several factors you should consider when choosing an attorney.
First, is your legal team experienced in hurricane and storm damage? During your consultation, it’s important to ascertain whether your attorney has experience dealing with situations like yours. You don’t want an attorney who doesn’t know how to handle insurance companies.
Secondly, consider the cost of your attorney. In many cases, your lawyer will not request payment from you until your case is settled. It’s almost inevitable that money will be tight during these uncertain times, so it may be in your best interest to choose a lawyer who will not require immediate payment.
Ask around for recommendations. Have others experienced a case like yours and worked with an attorney who was able to obtain a positive outcome in court? Who is that attorney? Was your friend represented by a team, a paralegal, an individual or an assistant?
Finally, during your consultation verify that you feel comfortable with your attorney. If you feel that anything is “off,” it’s okay to continue your search.
When should I contact a hurricane damage lawyer?
It’s best to hire a hurricane damage attorney as soon as possible following your weather event. You may even choose to do so before you contact your insurance company. Putting yourself in the hands of an experienced legal team will make it easier to navigate through the process of filing claims and receiving the compensation you’re entitled to.
I filed a claim and my insurance company sent me an offer. Should I take it?
No. Do not accept an offer from an insurance company before you speak with a lawyer. Insurance companies will provide low-ball offers that may not cover all the damages you’ve suffered as a result of a storm.
The legal team at Morgan & Morgan can negotiate with your automotive, renters’ or homeowners’ insurance company and will work diligently to ensure you get the best settlement possible. While it’s not impossible to deal with these businesses yourself, the outcome of your claim will most likely be much more positive with the help of an attorney.
How much money will I receive from my insurance companies?
No legal team can tell you the outcome of your claim in advance. Everyone’s circumstances are different and while you may receive a certain amount, your neighbor’s settlement may be much different.
The experienced attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can’t guarantee your outcome, but we can guarantee that we will fight for you and approach your claim carefully, examining each possible angle of your case that may mean compensation for you.
How much will a hurricane damage lawyer cost in Pennsylvania?
As mentioned earlier, most attorneys who deal with natural disasters do so on a contingency basis. That means that your attorney won’t be paid until you settle.
We can’t tell you how much you will receive for your settlement following a hurricane in Pennsylvania. That means, of course, that we can’t tell you how much an attorney will ultimately cost. That said, however, we at Morgan & Morgan will always be transparent, updating you frequently so that you can avoid surprises that impact your wallet.
Have you experienced a hurricane that caused damages to your Pennsylvania home or personal property? Contact the legal team at Morgan & Morgan. Let us review your case and discuss your options with you. Allow our experienced lawyers to fight the insurance companies on your behalf so you can focus on recovery after a natural disaster.