A tropical storm or hurricane can have a surprisingly high price tag. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a single hurricane causes an average of $20.5 billion worth of damage. Many people purchase property insurance to protect themselves from the financial impact, but when insurance companies don’t want to pay out, many property owners find themselves embroiled in a battle with their insurance company.
Consulting an attorney may be the most financially beneficial option if you’re struggling to recover compensation for hurricane damage to your home. Explore the costs of a hurricane damage claim attorney with Nessler & Associates and how you can afford legal aid.
The Price of a Hurricane Damage Attorney
There’s no set cost of hiring an attorney. The price of an attorney will vary depending on the attorney, their experience, the details of your case, and how long your case lasts.
In most cases, attorneys have an hourly rate based on their work, how much experience they have (experienced attorneys typically charge more than newer attorneys), and the typical rate for your area. They may also charge you filing fees or ask for a retainer before they begin their work. This can quickly cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Nessler & Associates works on contingency, meaning that you don’t have to pay anything unless we successfully settle or win your case.
When is it Worth Hiring an Attorney for Hurricane Damage Claims?
Many people are uncertain about paying extra money for an attorney when they’re already paying for the damage to their home. However, there are some cases where hiring an attorney is worth the cost. Here are some situations where you should spend the money on an attorney.
You’re Facing Severe Property Damage
If the damage to your property is minor, you can likely file a claim without the help of a lawyer. However, if the hurricane severely damages your home or business, you could file a claim for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
By seeking the advice of a hurricane insurance claim attorney, you’ll be able to quickly contest an unfair denial or recognize a lowball offer.
Your Claim is Valid, Yet Denied
It isn’t unusual for insurance companies to deny claims resulting from hurricane damage. Most renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damages caused by natural disasters, including hurricanes. You typically have to take out an additional policy to have full insurance coverage.
Sometimes your insurance company will refuse to pay you what you’re owed. For example, if you have flood insurance, file a claim for flood damage, and your insurance company denies your claim simply because a hurricane caused the flooding, that may be an unlawful denial.
A skilled property damage claim attorney can get your insurance company to provide you with the settlement you’re owed.
Your Claim is Denied with No Explanation
Under Florida law, if an insurance company denies your claim, they must tell you why they’ve denied it. If they deny your claim with no explanation and won’t give you further answers, it’s time to contact an attorney.
Your Insurance is Dragging Their Feet
While you shouldn’t expect your insurance claim to move at the speed of light, you also shouldn’t be waiting for extended periods to hear back. Unfortunately, far too many bad faith insurance companies try to handle your claim as slowly as possible.
Most insurance companies have deadlines for when you can file a claim or submit evidence, so by delaying your claim; the insurance company is hoping to wait until the deadline passes so they can deny it and avoid paying out.
However, Florida and many other states forbid insurance companies from deliberately slowing down the claims process. If you’re waiting several weeks or months to hear back about a claim that should have been handled much more quickly, an attorney can help move your claim through the system, as well as pursue extra damages against your insurance company for employing bad faith practices.
How Can I Afford an Attorney?
Paying for a lawyer may seem impossible when you are budgeting for the costs of repairing your property. Luckily, there are options for those unsure how to cover their legal fees.
Inquire About Rates and Fees
While many attorneys offer a free initial consultation, most don’t provide any other work for free. Take advantage of the free case review to ask how much the attorney charges, any hidden fees you may encounter, and how much they expect your case to cost.
Ask About Paralegal Fees
A surprising amount of a law firm’s work is handled by paralegals, not the attorneys themselves. During your consultation with attorneys, ask how much of the case is dealt with by paralegals and how much their rate is. Paralegals typically charge less than attorneys.
Look for Attorneys Who Work on Contingency
Not every attorney charges exorbitant rates upfront. When an attorney works on contingency, they won’t ask for payment unless they can successfully settle or win your case; instead, they take a percentage of your earnings as payment. For example, Nessler & Associates has a no fee unless your case is settled or won promise and will take a portion of your settlement or judgment earnings as payment.
When to Hire a Hurricane Damage Attorney
Handling the aftermath of a hurricane can quickly exhaust you and your bank account, so seeing an unjustly denied, underpaid, or delayed insurance claim can feel defeating. If you’re struggling to recover what you’re owed from your insurance company, Nessler & Associates can help.
Our law firm has helped property damage victims in Florida, Texas, Colorado and Illinois get the compensation they are owed from their insurance companies to rebuild their lives following a hurricane, storm, fire, or other natural events.
We will help you go over the details of your insurance policy and fight to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.