At Perez Mayoral, P.A., our practice is dedicated to assisting clients who have suffered fire damage in settling disputed homeowners insurance claims. If you live in South Florida and have had property damaged or destroyed by fire, contact us promptly so we can help you regain your losses and rebuild as quickly as possible.
Our fire damage attorneys have extensive knowledge of the kinds of devastation fires can cause, no matter how they originated. We also have well-proven strategies to use in pressing insurance companies to maximize settlements.
Types of Fire Damage
Whether a fire is caused by lightning, defective wiring, faulty equipment, arson, or a cooking accident, your homeowners insurance should cover the resulting damage. A distinction is made between primary fire damage that occurs as a direct result of the flames and secondary fire damage that is caused by smoke, corrosive substances released by the burning process, or water from firefighters’ hoses or rain that enters a damaged structure.
Beyond this distinction, fire damage is categorized by experts into classes A through F according to whether solids, liquids, gases, combustible metals, electricity or oils and fats feed the flames.
Taking Action Quickly Is Essential
Once you become our client, we will do everything we can to facilitate payment by your insurance provider since we know how critical it is for you and your family to have access to funds for your immediate safety and well-being. For this reason, we will, during our initial consultation with you, recommend steps to take to protect your home from further damage and to provide evidence to the insurance company of the fire damage that has already taken place.
These steps include:
- Filing your insurance claim promptly
- Calling back the fire department if there is any evidence of continuing smoldering
- Having your home boarded up to prevent vandalism (in some cases, portable fencing may also be required)
- Checking on your property regularly to make sure no further damage has occurred
Our lead attorneys, Erik A. Perez and Michael P. Mayoral, have the well-honed skills that come with experience. While you arrange for your property to be secured, you can count on us to:
- Thoroughly investigate your home and property, taking note of all fire damage
- Take photos of your home at its worst, before clean-up begins
- Estimate the cost of all necessary repairs and replacements
- Have your damaged possessions professionally appraised
- Assess overall damage to determine at the correct amount of your total claim
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters and opposing attorneys
- File a lawsuit if necessary to ensure that you receive a fair settlement
We Will Help You Get an Advance on Your Fire Damage Settlement to Tide You Over
Since our fire damage attorneys have a great deal of experience with homeowners insurance claims, we are adept at making sure that you receive a check (wherever you and your family are now residing) for an amount to cover essentials lost in the blaze, such as toiletries, clothing, food, medications, and, if necessary, blankets and small pieces of equipment.
The money you receive at this time will be an advance against your eventual claim. In other words, the amount you receive now will be subtracted from the total amount of the settlement.
Depending on the type of homeowners insurance you carry, you may be able to receive replacement costs for property or only “actual cash value.”
Our Know-How Will Help You Cope
Our fire damage lawyers are well aware that suffering a house fire is a terrible trauma. Though hopefully all members of your family are uninjured, watching your homestead go up in smoke is a life-changing event.
We will assist you in taking back control of your life, your home, and your possessions by:
- Organizing Related Materials, including all spoken and written communications with the insurance company and actual estimates (NOT copies) of invoices, permits, bills, and contracts for repairs. Making an organized presentation of evidence of your losses will keep the insurance company from inferring that sketchy records put your claims of losses into question.
- Keeping After Your Insurance Company to Speed Payment
While you begin reconstructing your home, we will keep up the pressure on your provider to settle your claim. As fire damage attorneys, our well-practiced tactics in this area will be more effective than your heartfelt pleas.
- Keeping Track of Your Daily Living Expenses During Temporary Relocation
When it comes to paying for housing, you should be able to receive full reimbursement for lodgings at a reasonably priced hotel or motel. For this reason, it’s important to keep a record of all payments to such an establishment. Remember though that you will still be responsible to make mortgage, tax, and insurance payments, even if your home is presently unlivable.
As long as your home is uninhabitable, the “loss of use” clause in your homeowners policy entitles you to “additional living expenses.” This means that your insurance company will reimburse you, but only for the amount over and above what you would have paid for food if you were not now forced to eat in restaurants.
If you choose to live with friends or family, rather than a hotel, even though your loved ones probably won’t be charging you, our fire damage attorneys may be able to persuade your provider to reimburse them. Their costs can be approximated by checking prices of Airbnbs in the vicinity with similar accommodations. We will remind your insurance company of how much more it would have cost them to put you up in a hotel.
Contact Our Experienced Fire Damage Claims Attorneys Today
As soon as you get in touch with Perez Mayoral, P.A., you will know you have come to the right place. We have the empathy to smooth your path after the disaster and the determination to fight aggressively for your right to just compensation.