Louisiana Fire Damage Attorneys
Our Louisiana Fire Insurance Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
When fire or smoke destroys someone home or business, they should be able to focus on rebuilding what they lost. However, what often happens is resistance, delays, and unnecessary complications from the insurance company they thought would help them when the time came. If you’re suffering from the effects of fire or smoke damage to your property, the team at Arnold & Itkin is ready to help make sure you receive the payment you deserve. You've paid for coverage, and now it's time for the insurer to uphold their end of the bargain.
Arnold & Itkin’s team of Louisiana fire damage lawyers is ready to help clients recover the compensation they deserve after losing so much to catastrophic property damage. We’ll investigate your claim, hold the insurance company accountable, and refuse to allow them to treat you unfairly throughout the process. We’ve recovered billions of dollars for clients through verdicts and settlements. Whether we face them at the negotiation table or in a courtroom, your insurance company will know they’re in for a fight once they see our team on your side.
Call our Louisiana smoke and fire damage attorneys today at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation of your case. We only collect a payment if we obtain results for you.
Assessing Damage Caused by Fire & Smoke
Fire is destructive in more ways than one. First, the if the extreme heat produced by a fire doesn’t reduce an item to ash, it can cause significant and lasting damage to it. Then, there’s the damage caused by smoke that many people don’t immediately associate with fires. While it might not seem as severe as fire damage, smoke damage is something that can permanently alter the functionality of a structure. Worst of all, the longer smoke damage remains unfixed, the worse it can become. There are four common types of smoke damage:
- Wet smoke
- Dry smoke
- Protein-based smoke
- Fuel oil soot
Since smoke damage might seem minor, an insurance company adjuster could use it as an excuse to delay payment or offer less than a claimant deserves. In the worst instances, they'll completely deny a claim that's valid.
Different types of smoke damage require different types of cleaning, restoration, and repair work to be properly and safely fixed. After a fire, a remediation team will inspect your damages to start the claims process. Importantly, never sign any form unless you understand them. If you’re uncertain about a document, do not sign it and call a lawyer as soon as possible.
What Causes Fires in Louisiana Homes & Businesses?
Fires may be caused by intentional or negligent acts, defective products, or even extreme weather. When we take on a fire damage claim, our Louisiana insurance attorneys work diligently to recover the fair and full value of our client's case. If the cause of the fire is in question, we will work with investigators and experts to ascertain its cause and who may be liable. We will look to every potential source of compensation to maximize our client's recovery.
The following potential causes of fire damage in Louisiana homes and businesses:
- Faulty heating equipment
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Unattended cigarettes and pipes
- Hurricane and tornado damage
- Gas leaks
- Defective gas appliances
Why Insurance Companies Deny Louisiana Fire Damage Claims
When a company denies a claim, they can only do so if they think that the claimant has violated the terms of their policy. For example, a company can deny a claim if they prove that a person purposely started the fire that damaged or destroyed their home.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are focused on profits and often deny claims in the hopes that a person will give up. By denying a claim and then paying it out after an appeal, insurance companies can increase the money they make on a policy. In some instances, an fire insurance company will handle a claim slowly with the hope of frustrating a person into accepting a low amount once it is finally offered. If you think your insurance company isn’t being fair, hiring an attorney will show them that their tactics won’t be tolerated during your claims process.
Louisiana Fire Damage Claim FAQ
Do I Have to Provide Information My Insurance Is Asking For?
If your insurance company is asking for information that it needs to handle your claim, you should provide it to them. However, if you feel like your insurance company is asking for irrelevant information to delay the claims process, you should speak with an attorney to determine if they’re using bad faith practices.
My Fire Damage Claim Is Stuck Because the Fire Is Still Under Investigation. What Are My Options?
Waiting for a fire investigation to finish can be difficult, especially when you’re waiting on the results of one to carry on with your life. When the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, the claims process can come to a halt. Yet, just because things have slowed down with the fire investigation doesn’t mean that they need to. Working with a firm that’s familiar with fire investigations and insurance claims can help protect your interests during the investigation. Then, if the company offers an unfair settlement or denial, we’ll be ready to demand the compensation that you deserve.
What If I’m Not Satisfied with the Fire Repairs My Insurance Company Paid for?
When fire, smoke, and the efforts of responders damage your home, it’s the job of your insurance company to restore it and your belongings back to how they were before the incident. If you still smell smoke or are unhappy with the quality of the repairs done to your home, you might be entitled to additional compensation. Since insurance companies are required to restore your home to how it was before a fire, they are responsible for the shortcomings of any repairs they pay for. No one should be expected to live with shoddy repairs after a fire, and our team is ready to help you remedy the issue with your insurance company.
If My Smoke Detectors Were Broken, Can I Still Collect Insurance Money?
Even if your smoke detectors were broken or missing, you should still be covered by your insurance policy. According to Louisiana Statutes 40:1581, as of January 2011, all single-family and two-family homes should have working smoke detectors (10-year, sealed lithium battery smoke detectors, to be specific). The same law states that a failure to comply with this section is not a reason for nonpayment of an insurance claim.
How Can a Louisiana Fire Damage Attorney Help?
An attorney can help with a fire damage claim in countless ways. In addition to reviewing your policy to see what's covered, an attorney can take over all of your communication with the insurance company and the adjuster who is investigating your claim. An experienced fire damage claim lawyer can help to prove the full value of your losses and negotiate with the insurance company to seek a fair settlement. If the insurance company refuses to play fair, a lawyer can take your case to court to seek the full value of your fire damage claim, plus damages. While you focus on rebuilding your property and your life, your attorney can take care of everything else.
All About Lafayette, LA
Lafayette is a diverse city with strong Acadian roots. In the mid-to-late 1700s, Acadian refugees from Canada came to the region to settle after France was defeated by Great Britain in the Seven Years’ War. The area was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 because of its location on the Vermilion River, but the city was renamed Lafayette in 1884 after the French aristocrat turned war hero Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette.
The economy in Lafayette was initially based on agriculture, primarily sugar plantations. This lasted into the early 1900s. By the 1940s, oil had been discovered in Lafayette Parish. This served as the foundation for the area’s economy for decades. As of 2018, Lafayette had the greatest number of oil and gas workers in Louisiana. Lafayette’s current economy is still reliant on oil and gas, but it has diversified into such sectors as technology, healthcare, aerospace, retail, and banking.
Lafayette continues to celebrate its Creole, Cajun, and Acadian roots through such gatherings as the Boudin Cookoff and Bacon Fest, Le Festival de Mardi Gras à Lafayette, the Cajun Heartland State Fair, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, and Festival International de Louisiane. Some of the top attractions in Lafayette are Vermilionville, which commemorates the original town and has numerous historical homes, the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, which is located in central downtown Lafayette, the Lake Martin Rookery, which attracts nearly 60% of all bird species in the United States, and the Acadian Cultural Center, which is a living history museum.
Lafayette is located about 59 miles from Baton Rouge and 135 miles from New Orleans. Its elevation ranges from 36 to 49 feet above sea level, and the city has now developed on both sides of the Vermilion River. Lafayette covers a land area of nearly 56 square miles and had an estimated population of 121,771 as of July 2021.
Lafayette Resources & Links
- Lafayette Consolidated Government
- U.S. Census Bureau: Lafayette, LA
- Lafayette Parish
- Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
- Lafayette News & Weather
- Lafayette Fire Department
Recovery Is Possible with the Help of Our Louisiana Fire Insurance Lawyers
Arnold & Itkin LLP is focused on making sure the rights of clients are protected throughout the fire insurance claims process. We’ve seen how fires destroy lives that people have worked to build. When a person needs their insurance company after paying premiums for years, that company should hold up their end of the deal rather than give their loyal client the runaround.
When you’ve paid your insurance company for years, you deserve to have it be there for you after an emergency. If you have property damage caused by a fire and your insurance company isn’t being fair, it’s time to call Arnold & Itkin LLP. Our team is ready to investigate your claim, make sure the insurance company is being fair, and defend you from unfair denials, delays, and other tactics used by insurance companies. Finding out if we can help you is free so you can easily discover what legal options are available to you.
Call our Louisiana fire insurance claim firm today at (888) 493-1629 to speak with a member of our team.