Fire and Smoke Damage Insurance Attorneys In Dallas & Houston
If your home or business has been damaged by fire, it is critical for both you and your insurance company to act quickly to ensure that the claim is handled properly, and just as importantly, that you are able to secure alternative living arrangements immediately, if appropriate. A fire can, of course, destroy everything you’ve worked your whole life for, from your home to your personal belongings, including irreplaceable objects, in a matter of minutes. But even when a fire doesn’t destroy the entire structure of your home or commercial building, the damages sustained may very well extend far beyond the immediate area of the fire, whether due to smoke damage from the fire or water damage from the firefighters who are doing their job.
For residential fire claims especially, it is important that you create a contents inventory—if one doesn’t already exist—as soon as possible after the fire. Preparing a thorough and accurate contents inventory list from scratch after a fire, however, may be extremely difficult or impossible when your home or business and everything in it is damaged beyond recognition. Regardless, the insurance company and the assigned adjuster will require that you provide such a list, including estimated values, while also requesting proof of purchase (e.g., receipts, etc.).
Fire claims for which the insured property may be salvaged or repaired still must be adjusted properly by the insurance company. Accordingly, it is important that the carrier or adjuster assigned by the insurance company utilizes the appropriate experts, including in part, fire causation experts, certified industrial hygienists or other water damage experts, damages experts, etc. Failure to do so may cause your insurance company to not address significant areas of damage to your property.
My wife and I thought we were heading into a complicated legal odyssey with a destroyed commercial property until we hired Bill Kendall. His sustained focus and hard work was so effective that we had a great settlement within hours of the first deposition.F. Jones - Multi-Family Property Claim (Dallas, TX)
Our large hotel was severely damaged by hail. After significant delays by the insurance company, our claim was denied. We hired Bill Kendall and Grisham & Kendall soon after. Through Bill’s efforts during our lawsuit, we were able to reach a favorable settlement close to trial. We would certainly recommend Grisham & Kendall, PLLC to any property owner whose insurance company isn’t treating them fairly.D. Patel - Hotel Hail Claim
Special Investigative Unit?
If the insurance company tells you your claim has been assigned to a Special Investigative Unit (SIU), what does this mean for your claim? It means that something, at least in the opinion of the insurance company, has raised an alert that the reported loss may have occurred due to fraud, either by the insured or a third party. If you have been notified that an SIU adjuster has been assigned to your claim, you should expect that the carrier will perform a much more thorough investigation than is typical. The investigation will likely include extensive background checks and even surveillance. You may be asked to submit to questioning before a court report (i.e., examination under oath) and be asked for extensive documentation regarding your background (e.g., financial documents, phone records, etc.). It can be quite stressful for an insured to know his or her rights under such a situation, and whether it is appropriate to comply with the insurer’s requests or whether it’s better to object.
How We Can Help
At Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, we have represented both residential and commercial property owners with their fire insurance claims for more than 15 years. The attorneys at Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, know how to respond to the insurance company’s tactics when it fails to properly adjust or pay your claim. Don’t fight back alone if your insurance company has treated you unfairly after a fire. The insurance companies have expensive experts who work exclusively for their benefit. Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, has formed relationships with qualified experts who are willing to work for insureds (not just the carriers) when homeowners or business owners have been lost property to fire. We will aggressively pursue your rights owed under the insurance policy if your claim was delayed, underpaid, or denied.
Because of the large amount of damage, many insurance companies may act in bad faith to save money. Our team of qualified lawyers is prepared to help all persons who encounter difficulty with their fire damage claims, but we are especially committed to assisting those who have needs incurred in the wake of:
Contact a Dallas fire and smoke damage claim attorney
If your property has been damaged as a result of fire, please contact the Dallas fire damage insurance claim lawyers of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, at (214) 308-2027 to discuss your case.
Smoking and Building Fires
Whether you smoke or not, everyone can be affected by accidental fires started by smoking. In fact, smoking is the number one cause of preventable fatal home fires. When people who smoke flick their cigarettes near buildings or whenever anyone falls asleep while smoking, there is a risk of a fire starting. As such, many states have implemented “fire-safety” cigarettes to curb cigarette fires, but unfortunately, this has not stopped cigarette fires in homes and commercial buildings from occurring.
If your business or home was destroyed or damaged by a fire started by a cigarette, you will probably need to rely on your insurance company to help you deal with the damage. Unfortunately, many insurance companies attempt to deny or underpay claims. When this happens, it is important to have an attorney on your side, helping you pursue the compensation you may be due. For a free consultation, contact the Dallas fire insurance attorneys of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, today at (214) 308-2027.
Preventing Smoking Fires
Even if you don’t smoke, there is a chance that a smoking fire can be caused by someone who does smoke. Some ways people try to prevent smoking fires in their homes and businesses include:
- Prohibiting indoor smoking
- Providing outdoor ashtrays
- Posting signs encouraging people to use ashtrays
- Staying alert to potential dangers, such as people trying to smoke in the building, and flicking lit cigarette butts near the building
- Keeping the area surrounding the building free of dry brush and leaves
Unfortunately, even when people take steps to prevent fires, they can still occur. At that point, it is important to have an insurance company that will do their best to help you recover much-needed compensation.
How Electrical Fires Begin
Electrical fires can begin for a number of different reasons. Typically an electrical fire can be traced back to the following issues:
- Issues with fixed wiring in the home, such as old wiring and light switch and electrical outlet malfunction
- Faulty electrical wiring in power cords
- Faulty light fixtures and light bulbs
- Misuse of electrical outlets, such as overloading circuits and running cords underneath carpet or rugs
Every year, approximately 26,100 electrical fires are caused by these problems, costing nearly $1 billion in total for Americans and untold physical and emotional suffering.
If your business was harmed by fire due to a cigarette or other tobacco smoking near or in your building, your insurance company should be able to help you cover the costs. But, if your insurance company has attempted to deny or underpay your claim, contact a Dallas fire damage attorney of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, at (214) 308-2027 to work on potentially taking legal action to get the payment you need.
Cooking Fires in the Home
Cooking fires account for the largest number of house fires in the United States. In fact, 49% of all house fires were cooking related, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. When a fire breaks out in your home, it can mean the loss of cherished items, property, and even all or part of the structure of your home. That is why, when a fire happens, it is important to have an insurance company that you can put your faith in to cover the damage without stressing you out financially.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often act in bad faith, attempting to deny or underpay their client’s house fire claims. If your home was damaged by a cooking fire, a Dallas insurance attorney of Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, can help you fight to get the payment you need. To speak with an attorney today, contact us at (214) 308-2027.
Causes of Cooking Fires
Cooking fires can start suddenly and spread quickly. The most common reasons fires break out in the kitchen include:
- Unattended cooking
- Grease fires
- Placing flammable items or cooking equipment near active stove
- Wearing loose, hanging clothing while cooking
- Forgetting to turn off burners, stoves, and ovens
While no one expects a fire to happen while cooking, insurance is designed to protect against unexpected disasters. That is why it is so important for insurance companies to provide the necessary financial relief when a cooking fire causes devastating damage to someone’s property.
At Grisham & Kendall, PLLC , a Dallas fire damage lawyer is dedicated to helping individuals who have been wrongly denied or underpaid by their home insurance company. If your home was damaged in a fire and your insurance company is failing to pay your full coverage, contact us today at (214) 308-2027.