Tornado Damage Claims Attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana
Tornadoes are some of nature’s most violent storms that leave behind heavy damage and destruction. In most cases, there is no way to completely avoid tornado-related damage, which is why many people who live in areas with frequent tornado occurrences purchase insurance policies that help reduce all or some of the financial burdens associated with this natural disaster.
However, even if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers tornado-related damage, filing a claim and obtaining fair and full compensation can be a daunting task. That is why it’s so important to have a skilled attorney on your side. Our tornado claims attorneys at the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer help homeowners obtain the maximum compensation to which they are entitled. We have an office in Metairie, Louisiana, but we also serve the surrounding areas, including Jefferson Parish, New Orleans, Chalmette, and St. Tammany Parish.
Steps to Take After a Tornado
During the aftermath of a tornado, your priority should be to protect your life and the lives of your loved ones, including your pets. If anyone is injured, call 911 and get medical help. If necessary, render first aid while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Once you and your loved ones are safe, take the following steps:
Protect your property from further damage. While it might seem that damage to your property couldn’t get any worse, it can. That is why it is vital to take the necessary steps to protect your property from further damage. This means shutting off the electricity, natural gas, and propane to eliminate additional hazards. If your windows or roof were damaged, cover them with plastic sheeting or tarps to protect against rain.
Secure your valuables. It is imperative that you secure your valuables, such as jewelry, family heirlooms, photographs, and documents, as well as expensive electronics (phones, laptops, etc.) after the tornado.
Document the damage. Take photos of your damaged property and belongings to have a visual demonstration of the extent of the destruction. Documenting the damage is an important step to take in order to recover maximum compensation through your tornado claim.
Initiate the claims process. Reach out to your insurance company as soon as practical in order to initiate the claims process. The insurance adjuster may then come to your property to assess the damages and losses.
Record everything during the claims process. This includes your correspondence with the insurance company, bills and invoices for repairs, notes about discussions with contractors, and everything else related to your tornado claim.
You might want to be represented by a tornado claims attorney in Metairie, Louisiana, when filing a claim for compensation and negotiating a settlement with your insurance company to ensure that your rights are protected and that the insurer honors the terms of your policy.
What Happens When You File a Claim for Compensation?
Once you file a tornado claim, here’s what you can expect to happen:
The insurance company assigns a claims adjuster to your case.
The insurance adjuster visits your property to inspect the damage.
The insurance adjuster values your tornado claim.
You and the adjuster negotiate the value of your claim (if you do not agree with the adjuster’s initial valuation).
Once you and the adjuster agree on the value, you begin working with contractors to make the necessary repairs.
However, the process does not always go smoothly. It can be lengthy and complicated, which is why you might want to work with a skilled tornado claims attorney to get knowledgeable and reliable assistance throughout the claims process.
Tactics Insurance Companies Use When Handling Tornado Claims
When filing a tornado claim (or any other insurance claim, for that matter), you need to understand that the insurer may not be entirely on your side. After all, insurance companies are profit-driven businesses, and their profits depend on their payouts to claimants. The insurance adjuster may not truly care about you, your family, or your home, no matter how friendly he/she seems.
Unfortunately, there are several unfair tactics insurance companies use when handling tornado claims:
Denial of the claim. The insurance company may outright deny your tornado claim hoping you will not fight back. And many people don’t fight back, thinking that the insurance company is always right. However, unless there are legal grounds to deny a claim, the denial is considered unlawful.
Misinterpreting the terms of the policy. The insurer may point to non-existent terms of the insurance policy in order to undervalue or deny a claim. It is critical that you have an experienced attorney review your policy to understand exclusions and the scope of coverage.
Claiming pre-existing damage. A common tactic insurance companies use is arguing that the damage existed before the tornado. However, a skilled attorney can prove the insurer wrong through documentation, evidence, and expert witness statements.
Delaying the claims process. The insurance company may intentionally delay the claims process in the hopes that the claimant will give up. The insurer may take days or weeks to respond to your claim, request unnecessary documentation, and schedule multiple assessments, among other tactics.
Understandably, when filing a tornado claim, you want your home to be repaired as quickly as possible to be able to move on with your life. The last thing you want is to deal with the insurance company’s unfair or bad-faith tactics. Our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer can guide you through the claims process and ensure that you are treated fairly by the insurance company.
Tornado Claims Attorneys Serving Metairie, Louisiana
When a tornado strikes, you can turn to the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer for help. Our tornado claims attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana, can help you rebuild your life after the natural disaster and ensure that you get the payout you deserve. We are here to assist you through the claims process and help you regain a sense of normality. Reach out today to request a free case evaluation.