Property damage claims can arise in a variety of different situations: neighbors can cause damage to your house or property, natural disasters can occur, contractors or other workers may cause the damage, or unexpected occurrences (ex. fire) may be to blame. Whatever the cause, you will need to be in a position to prove the losses that you’ve suffered as a result of the property damage.
Though this may seem simple, it can get incredibly complicated. So, here are some helpful tips to consider if you find yourself dealing with a property damage claim.
Tips for Documenting Property Damage Losses
1. Make a Claim Immediately
If you’ve suffered property damage, you will want to initiate a claim right away. To the extent that you are aware of the insurer for the person who caused your damage, start a claim with that insurer. Even if you don’t know the insurer, make the claim known to the responsible party. This will help to protect you from a situation where somebody denies that you suffered any damage or denies all responsibility for the damage.
2. Take Pictures of the Property Damage
The best way to prove your damages is to photograph everything. You should take a good set of pictures that correlate to every item of damage that you have suffered. If you’re able to photograph the damage as it is occurring, it will make your case all the more compelling.
3. Itemize All of Your Property Damage Losses
There will likely be a number of losses that you will have to consider if you’ve been the victim of property damage. First, you need to make a list of any contents or other personal items that were damaged. Second, keep track of all of your time spent dealing with the issues and any bills or charges that you incur to deal with the damage. If you have damage that needs to be repaired, getting a repair estimate is the best way to show the other side what it will cost to fix your property.
4. Don’t Downplay Your Losses
If somebody has damaged your property, they should be required to make it right. They should not be able to give your property back to you in substandard condition or do cheap repairs. You have every right to hold them accountable for what they’ve done.
5. Discuss Your Case with a Property Damage Lawyer
Insurance companies will (almost) always attempt to low-ball you to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. Don’t let them take advantage of you.
If you feel that you are getting mistreated or would just rather have somebody else deal with the insurance company, The Mahone Firm is here to help. Call (504) 564-7342 to discuss your situation with a property damage attorney. There is no charge for a case consultation.