Hurricane Harvey Claims
When disaster strikes, our firm is dedicated to protecting your rights. We are experienced insurance lawyers, which means that we sue insurance companies to ensure you receive what you are entitled to.
We handle these types of cases all over the country, with lawyers licensed in states like Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kentucky. We know how to handle insurance companies that delay, deny, or underpay legitimate claims in the wake of natural disasters.
Hurricane Harvey is one of the worst storms our nation has ever seen. And Richard Daly and John Black, both native Houstonians, are committed to helping the state of Texas get back on its feet. Many insurance companies will do the right thing, but some will not. A lawsuit should be your last recourse - but if and when you do decide to file a lawsuit, make sure your lawyers know what they are doing, are aggressive, and align their interests with yours.
Why should you hire us?
Experience. This is what we do and we are industry leaders. When the state legislature enacted H.B. 1774, a bill that became law September 1, 2017, and significantly affects the rights of Texans suing insurance companies in cases like these, our lawyers were at the forefront of the debate. We provided significant input into what eventually became the law, testifying before the Senate, the House, and holding countless meetings with lawmakers. To say we know this area of the law well is an understatement.
Track record. We win. And we win a lot. We know how to try cases, and have tried many cases against insurance companies - here and out of state. Because this is all we do, we know the "games" insurance companies play, and we make sure our clients are not victims of further delay games.
Aggressive advocacy. We push. And we push hard. When we get hired, we immediately hire experts to assess the claim, and we consult with you to determine the extent of your damage and the goals for the litigation. We hire our own experts, consultants, and former insurance adjusters so that your team is every bit as qualified - or more - than the team hired by your insurance company. We ensure you have a level playing field, so that you are in the best position to resolve your case.
If your insurance claim was wrongfully delayed, underpaid, or denied, call us for a free case evaluation today.
The Devastating Effects of Hurricanes
It is no secret that hurricanes can and do cause widespread devastation to land and property whenever they make landfall. As a result, home owners file claims with their insurance companies to recover the money needed to repair or rebuild their homes and properties. While a small number of these hurricane insurance claims will be settled in full without much dispute, a substantial amount of home owners will be delayed, denied or underpaid, causing them to be frustrated and without the necessary funds to repair their most important investments.
Insurance companies have an obligation to settle the claims that they are presented with in a timely fashion, and where liability has become reasonably clear. But many do not.
Individuals who experienced property damage as a result of a Hurricane Harvey may be entitled to damages that include things such as replacement costs, out of pocket expenses, living expenses, business interruption expenses, punitive damages, and penalty interest. And if you successfully prosecute your claim, you are entitled to attorneys' fees under Texas law.
What does a Typical Texas Homeowners’ Policy Cover?
On average, a standard homeowners’ policy in Texas will cover:
- Home: Any structural damage to the home and adjacent structures like a garage, a fence, etc.
- Personal Property: theft of or damage to personal belongings within the home.
- Uninhabitability: Any living expenses resulting from loss of use of the home due to damage.
- Mold: Most mold damage, as long as the mold is the result of a covered loss under the policy.
Other special policies may cover things like business interruption or flood damages. Because insurance policies can be difficult to understand, before settling a claim on your own, consult with one of our attorneys, at no charge, to review your policies and coverages to ensure that you are not being short-changed. Many times our clients are unaware of certain coverages until a qualified lawyer reviews the policies, and provides the insurance company with proper notice.
If you would like us to review your insurance policies free of charge, consult with one of our insurance lawyers today for a free consultation by dialing (888) 492-2671.
Why Hire a Hurricane Damage Attorney?
Houston, Rockport, Corpus Christi, Victoria and other residents along the Texas Gulf Coast who lost their homes during Hurricane Harvey may be forced to elect between accepting a lowball settlement offer/improper denial, and fighting to ensure your contract rights are fully protected, and if necessary, prosecuted. If you are considering pursuing such a claim, make sure the lawyer you hire knows what he is doing, has done it before, and has a track record.
The Insurance Company’s Deadlines to Either Pay or Deny your Claim
There are many important timelines you need to be aware of when filing a claim with an insurance company. Under the Texas Insurance Code, insurance companies are required to pay claims in a “timely and prompt manner."
The Texas Insurance Code, however, goes even further by imposing specific timelines on insurance companies to acknowledge, investigate and either pay or deny a claim.
Once the property owner files a claim with their insurance company, the company is required to:
- Acknowledge and begin investigating the claim, as well as request any necessary statements, items or forms within 15 days;
- Notify claimant as to the acceptance or denial of his or her claim within 15 business days (the insurance company may request up to 45 additional days to complete this step);
- Pay the accepted claim within 60 days of receiving any requested material;
- Pay the accepted claim no later than 5 business days after notification of impending payment;
- Pay the accepted claim no later than 5 business days after claimant performs any required action upon which payment is conditional.
In addition to these timelines, on September 1, 2017 new laws went into effect in Texas that significantly impact the manner in which your lawyer must provide notice of a claim, and how your claim is prosecuted. H.B. 1774 - also referred to as the "Hail Bill" applies to all forms of natural disaster lawsuits in Texas, and will be put to the test early with Hurricane Harvey. These laws are new, and untested. Because our lawyers played a role in the passage of these laws, we are very familiar with them, and can help guide you through the process.
Because we work exclusively on a contingency fee, you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case and recover damages from your insurance company.
If you or someone you know has been denied or underpaid on a legitimate property damage claim caused by Hurricane Harvey, call (888) 492-2671.
How to Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Contractors
Unfortunately, even in a time of disaster, there will always be those who seek to capitalize off of the misfortune of others. While many contractors are good, hard-working people doing their best to assist in the recovery, there are a number of unqualified contractors who have been taking advantage of people who sustained property damage during the hurricane.
Here are a few tips to help keep you from being victimized:
- Use a local or in-state contractor wherever possible. This will make it easier to verify the contractor’s credentials, insurance information and even reputation through the local Better Business Bureau
- There is no "license" for roofers in Texas - not yet at least. If a roofer tells you he is licensed in Texas, he's lying.
- Create a record of any and all repairs made by paying with a check, credit card, money order or any other traceable means of payment. Never pay in cash. In addition, keep any and all relevant receipts and invoices from the contractor himself.
- Accompany the contractor to the hardware store in order to purchase any necessary supplies. Do not give the contractor cash up front.
- Review everything before you sign it. There may be additional charges hidden on top of the contractor’s initial bid.