Fire Damage Attorney in Miami
Our homes are one of the most expensive purchases many of us will ever make. We invest time, energy, and money to ensure that our homes reflect our personalities and keep us safe. All too often something as simple as a fire can ruin everything we have spent years building up, and we are forced to fight our insurance company to get the money we need to rebuild.
Fires cause some of the worst damage to our homes. In 2018, there were over 1,319,000 fires in the United States, causing more than 3,600 deaths, 15,000 injuries, and over 25 billion in lost dollars. Residential fires made up almost 77% of all injuries and more than 73% of deaths. Additionally, more than 53% of fire-related losses were from residential fires. 
If your home was damaged by a fire, Schlacter Law can help. Our Miami fire damage attorneys understand that filing an insurance claim after a catastrophic loss can be complicated, and often the homeowners insurance after the loss will deny a claim or offer an inadequate settlement. With years of experience fighting hard against insurance companies for our clients, we will help you get the money you need to rebuild.
Causes of Fire Damage in Miami
Fires can cause extensive damage in very little time. Where a fire starts rarely blunts the damage. A fire can start in a basement, garage, or even a yard, and it only takes a minute or two to cause extensive damage. Some of the most common causes of fire damage include:
- Faulty appliances
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Flammable liquids
- Kitchen equipment
Regardless of how a fire started the end result could be a total loss. Fire claims are some of the most expensive in the country, with an average payout of $68,322.  Our fire claim attorneys know that these claims are needed to rebuild and repair a property from serious damage. Schlacter Law works hard to get you the money you need as soon as possible.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Following a fire, most homeowners will seek compensation through their homeowners insurance policy. Most types of damage are covered under a homeowner’s policy although there may be some exceptions. For example, if a homeowner started a fire on their own or there was an act of war, a policy may not cover the damage. Additionally, some homes that are prone to wildfires may not be covered under a typical policy and may require an additional rider to recover compensation. It is important to know what kinds of coverage and how much coverage your policy provides in the event of a fire.
Following a claim, your insurance company will send out their own adjuster to estimate the extent of the damage and determine the amount of compensation they will provide in a claim settlement. It is important to keep in mind that most insurance companies will assess the damage in a light that saves them the most money and may fail to take into account the full extent of the damage.
Some examples of losses an adjuster may fail to calculate in a settlement might include hidden damage from smoke, sprinklers, and ash, as well as mold due to water damage caused by putting the fire out. Other costs that may be overlooked include a failure to take into account the costs of cleaning the property as well as ensuring that repairs are made up to the proper standards appropriate for your jurisdiction. Additionally, some items may need to be replaced to conform with a “uniform and consistent appearance” even if these items weren’t damaged by the fire.
After an insurance adjuster presents their estimate for the damage, it is recommended to get your own estimates for the damage. Schlacter Law can help you obtain your own estimate and fight for what is owed. The two amounts may differ greatly, and this information can be used by a lawyer to help negotiate a larger settlement. Additionally, an attorney can typically pay the fees associated with finding a local adjuster to make estimates, and the lawyer’s fees are usually paid by the insurance company. This ensures that any compensation you receive to make repairs will not be reduced by legal fees, leaving you the full amount of compensation to focus on home repairs.
When an insurance company offers a settlement, you are under no obligation to accept it. If you feel the amount of payment is inadequate to make appropriate repairs there may be other avenues to seek compensation. A Miami fire loss attorney may be able to file a lawsuit against the insurance company for a breach of contract claim for failing to properly enforce the terms of the policy. Speaking with a fire loss attorney is the first step in determining how much money might be available through a lawsuit and whether or not accepting a settlement is a good idea. Call Schlacter Law today so we can help guide you through the process.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I negotiate with the insurance company myself?
Negotiating with an insurance company on your own is possible but not recommended. Insurance companies will typically offer a settlement with their best interests in mind, not yours. A settlement might not reflect important hidden costs or long-term issues and without having negotiated with an insurance company in the past you may not even be aware of these issues. Our Miami fire damage lawyers have the experience necessary to identify issues when a settlement fails to adequately address them. Call Schlacter Law for a consultation today.
How much does a fire damage lawyer cost?
Most times when dealing with insurance settlements the attorney’s fee is paid for by the insurance company directly and not by their client. This allows you to get the best representation without having to spend any money upfront.
Are there any deadlines I need to keep in mind?
If a lawsuit is necessary to seek compensation, there is a time limit called the statute of limitations. For a breach of contract claim a claimant must file a lawsuit within five years from when the contract was breached, and four years for contracts related to improvements of real property. To ensure that these deadlines are properly tracked, talk with a Miami fire claim attorney today.