HURRICANE HANNA DAMAGE? NOW WHAT?

July 28, 2020

HURRICANE HANNA DAMAGE? NOW WHAT?

HOW TO HANDLE A WINDSTORM INSURANCE CLAIM

As many Texas residents assess the damage caused by Hurricane Hanna that made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast over the weekend, they will need to familiarize themselves with the homeowner’s or business owner’s insurance claim process. This process can be confusing and failure to follow proper procedures can result in your claim being denied or underpaid.

Unfortunately, insurance companies and their adjusters are not in the business of paying out claims. Generally, insurance company adjusters are trained to resolve claims for the smallest amount possible or deny the claims outright if they can find an exclusion under the policy.  If you or someone you know was affected, be sure to review the following steps before contacting your insurance company to file a claim.

Read and review your entire homeowner’s insurance policy including any endorsements and amendments.

Do not agree to be recorded over the phone. Do not agree to provide a recorded or sworn statement over the phone. Ask to provide one in person or in writing. Consider consulting with an attorney first. PUBLIC ADJUSTERS ARE NOT ATTORNEYS.

Communicate in writing if you can. Try to make sure most of your communication is in writing. If you have a phone conversation follow it up with an email or a fax.

Create a detailed list and notes of everything lost or damaged. Create a list of all damaged property including any personal items. Please make sure to include the brand name, model, and as accurate of a description as possible of all claimed items. Include everything no matter how small.

Document all damages. Don’t only photograph the damage, but also make sure every photograph is either time stamped or logged with the date and time it was taken.

Witnesses are important. Create a list of each person who witnessed the losses and can testify to how the losses occurred. This includes the names of any contractors or other employees who performed repairs.

Keep a log of contact with your insurance company. Take down the first and last name of every person you speak to from your insurance company, the date you spoke to them, and what you spoke to them about.

Gather your past records. If possible gather records any previous repairs or inspections of your home. This will make it more difficult for the insurance company to claim the damage was preexisting or unrelated.

As attorneys representing home and business owners, we have seen the damage, devastation, and disruptions that hurricanes and storms can cause. We have represented thousands of clients against insurance companies that have tried to avoid and delay payment for legitimate losses our clients have incurred.Do you have property damage related to Hurricane Hannah? We focus on representing the policyholder and making sure you are treated fairly. Contact us today to discuss your claim or if you have any questions. Please use our Free Case Evaluation Form below or call us at 800-400-4000

3M MILITARY EARPLUG LAWSUIT UPDATE – JUNE 05, 2020

3M MILITARY EARPLUG LAWSUIT UPDATE – JUNE 05, 2020

As many of you may have seen on social media, there is an ongoing effort via a false and misleading ad campaign on Facebook targeting U.S. active duty military and veterans.  These advertisements claim that a settlement has been reached in the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Litigation.  This is false.  These advertisements claim that there is money immediately available to veterans and former servicemembers.  This is false.  The advertisements reference a $9.1M settlement (which is the amount 3M paid to the federal government over the Combat Arms Earplugs).  At this time, there is no settlement of any value for the claims involved in MDL 2885 for servicemembers hearing loss or tinnitus. 

We have reported many of these advertisements to Facebook.  However, the advertisements are increasing and our efforts to report and remove them on Facebook has had indeterminate success – as soon as one ad is challenged and removed; another almost identical in content and copy pops up in its place. We have identified nearly a dozen Facebook pages over 200 different ad variations reflecting nearly $300,000 in false ad campaigns targeting veterans in the past year.  Veterans, Service Members and all of our clients are increasingly frustrated with the litigation process because many of the advertisements go as far as to show purported members of the military holding their settlement checks and indicating that this is the “last chance” to claim their settlement funds. 

The Leadership Team has been investigating these false ads for several months and is taking immediate action aimed at the companies behind the dissemination of the false and misleading ads.  We will continue to keep you apprised of our efforts relating to these false messages of imminent payment and settlement for the Combat Arms Earplugs.

We are aggressively pushing forward with discovery against 3M, and we will continue to keep you all informed about the progress of this litigation.  Judge Casey Rodgers has made it clear that several cases will proceed to trial in 2021 despite the current COVID-19 crisis, and the parties should prepare accordingly.  Virtual depositions and written discovery are underway. Please call your case manager if you have any questions about your specific case.