Water Damage Lawyer in Miami
With rising tides, increased storms, and homeowner maintenance issues, Florida has seen an increase of 46% in flood claims in the last five years. Only one or two inches of flood-water can be catastrophic, costing tens of thousands of dollars. Weather isn’t the only cause of property damage. Failing sump pumps and leaking pipes can also cause additional water damage to Florida homeowners.
If your property was damaged, a water damage lawyer in Miami can help. With the experience to understand the issues and negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies, a flood damage attorney can help ensure that you get as much compensation as possible following a flood or water damage.
Causes of Flooding in Miami
With so much coastline, Florida is prone to several different types of water damage due to weather and flooding. Additionally, Floridians are subject to some of the same common household flooding issues that most homeowners experience. Some of the most common causes of flooding include:
- Faulty roofs
- Cast iron pipes
- Heavy storms
- Heavy rain
- Coastal flooding
- Storm Surges
- Sewage pipe backups
- Damaged or leaking roofs
- Broken sump pumps
- Broken plumbing pipes
- Leaking plumbing pipes
- Leaking or damaged appliances
Not all flooding is a result of mother nature. Any home is prone to water damage through such things as damaged pipes, malfunctioning sump pumps, roof damage, cast iron pipes, and sewage backups. When flooding or water damage occurs, repairs can be costly.
The first avenue for seeking compensation is filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, oftentimes these claims are often denied or unpaid. Or if the damage was due to coastal flooding, the claim is denied unless a separate flood policy was purchased.
Schlacter Law knows what is necessary to get you the most compensation following water damage or a flood. Repairs can be costly, and the expenses can add up. When faced with cleaning up after a flood, our water damage lawyers can help you get the funds you need to properly clean up the damage.
Water Damage Effects
Some of the effects of water damage can cause serious health risks and the potential for severe property damage. Some examples include:
- Mildew and mold infestation
- Reduced air quality
- Damaged carpeting and flooring
- Damaged walls and drywall
- Damaged property foundations
- Damaged furniture and appliances
- Increased likelihood of termites
Mildew and mold are a serious problem and can cause serious respiratory problems, including congestion and inflammation of the nasal passages. Additionally, mold and mildew can trigger allergic reactions and cause asthma attacks. Once mold is present, spores can travel through the air, reducing the overall air quality and necessitating fans and dehumidifiers to contain and reduce its spread.
When flooring, carpets, and hardwoods are damaged it typically needs to be removed. When water travels up a wall, the drywall must be removed and replaced. Appliances and furniture may also need to be removed and replaced. This type of remediation is a costly necessity following a flood.
Water can also seriously degrade a property’s foundation. When water flows onto the property it can carry away part of the foundation, leaving the remaining structure vulnerable. If this damage is not fixed it could cause the structure to collapse.
After a flood of water, it is important to make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. Failing to remedy any problems can make those problems worse. If you are unsure of how to proceed, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can look at your situation and recommend a course of action that can get you the funds you need for repairs as quickly as possible. Only a trained water damage lawyer in Miami should review your policy to determine the best cause of action. A lawyer is trained in litigating an insurance contract in court and has the ability to fight for your unfair denial, delay, or underpayment in court.
Flood Insurance in Miami
Because Florida is more prone to flooding than other states, mortgage companies will typically require additional coverage for coastal flooding.
While Florida does not require flood insurance, Florida Statutes, §627.715, does allow “an authorized insurer [to] issue an insurance policy, contract, or endorsement providing personal lines residential coverage for the peril of flood or excess coverage for the peril of flood on any structure or the contents of personal property contained therein.”
In addition to finding flood coverage through a private insurance company, there are federally funded programs that help homeowners acquire flood insurance in cases where it is difficult to obtain it through a private carrier.
According to the Division of Consumer Services (DCS) , flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Administration. These programs do provide flood coverage, but only under certain circumstances. The terms will generally provide insurance coverage when there is “an excess of water on land that is normally dry.”
Under the DCS’ definition, destruction from a flood must come from:
- The overflow of inland or tidal waters
- The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
- Mud-slides which are proximately caused by flood and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land areas
- The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding the cyclical levels which result in flood
These questions concerning what is and what is not covered under flood insurance can get complicated. A lawyer is here to help. With experience dealing with these types of issues, a Miami water damage lawyer knows what issues to look out for, and what facts may be relevant when dealing with insurance companies.
Filing a claim for repairs or flooding in your home can be difficult. Insurance companies will typically put their own interests first, oftentimes denying claims, even when a policy is in place to protect a homeowner from needing repairs.
While it is possible to file an insurance claim on your own, an experienced attorney can help. Understanding the process of insurance claims gives a water damage lawyer an advantage over an inexperienced homeowner. Knowing which questions to ask, and understanding the long-term costs can be the difference between a settlement that sufficiently provides enough money for repairs and one that doesn’t. Call a Miami water damage lawyer today for an evaluation.
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
What if my insurance company refuses to pay for repairs to my home?
When dealing with insurance companies an experienced lawyer will work hard to get your insurance company to pay the actual cost of repairs. An attorney can help by ensuring that appraisals and estimates are accurate, and when they’re not, providing additional estimates to obtain additional compensation. Call us today for a consultation to help you get the best settlement possible from your insurance company.
What if I can’t afford flood insurance?
If you cannot afford private flood insurance, the federal government does provide help to homeowners by providing flood coverage in the event that their property is inundated with water. If you think you may be entitled to additional compensation through a federally funded insurance program, contact a lawyer today for a consultation. We can help determine if you were adequately compensated following a flood.
Would insurance reimburse me for mold and mildew remediation?
An insurance company may reimburse you for mold and mildew remediation, depending on the extent of the damage and the type of policy you had at the time of the damage. When water damage was not caused by a tidal flood, most policies would cover the damage and any remediation required. Additional flood insurance may be required to pay for repairs and remediation following tidal flooding. A consultation with a Miami water damage attorney can help determine whether or not your policy should cover the damage. Call today.