Tornadoes can cause catastrophic damage to homes, businesses, and all types of property. For Texans who live in Tornado Alley, tornado damage is a danger that we live with all too frequently. In the last few years, Texas has been hit hard by tornadoes, causing millions of dollars in first-party property insurance damage to homes and businesses.
Discuss Your Tornado Damage Case with a Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney
If you have experienced tornado damage, you may have a right to compensation through your insurance policy. Unfortunately, many insurance companies make settlement offers that are too low or deny claims in bad faith. At Wright Commercial Litigation, we are proud to provide excellent legal representation to families and businesses who’ve suffered damage from tornadoes. Contact us today to schedule your initial case review and discuss your legal options.
Texas Tornadoes Cause Significant Damage
Many tornadoes don’t reach wind speeds over 110 miles per hour, with some tornadoes reaching wind speeds around 300 miles per hour, causing catastrophic property damage. The area between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains has been called Tornado Alley because of the increased tornado activity in this area.
An average of 132 tornadoes touch down in Texas every year. The Red River Valley of North Texas has the highest frequency of tornadoes, but they occur throughout Texas. In 2020, tornadoes caused approximately $2.53 billion in property damages across the United States. Tornadoes have been known to devastate entire towns, leaving property owners financially decimated.
What Should I Do After a Tornado Damages My Property?
Living through a tornado can be among the most stressful and traumatic experiences a person can have. Surviving a natural disaster can be as stressful as losing a job or facing a loved one’s death. When the tornado has also destroyed your home or property, matters become even more complicated. After you ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, you’ll need to take decisive action. Contact your insurance company as quickly as you can and know that you’ve experienced tornado damage.
When you speak to the insurance company, write down the name and contact information of the employees that you speak to at the company. It’s also wise to keep a log of all the conversations you have with the insurance company. Include the topic that you discussed and the timeframes provided to you by the insurance representative. You should also list any documentation that the insurance provider requests.
In the hours and days after a tornado damages your property, water lines, gas supply lines, and power lines can cause even more damage. Do not enter the property unless it is safe to do so. It is wise to make an effort to prevent any further damage. However, if your home has already been totally destroyed, there will be little you can do. Do not pay for a long-term repair yourself until you hear back from your insurance company. Make sure you keep detailed records in receipt of any work you do perform at your property.
Obtaining Compensation Through a Tornado Damage Insurance Claim
The majority of Texas property owners pay for natural disaster insurance as a way to protect themselves from tornado damage. Unfortunately, insurance companies are known for denying claims and refusing to pay out the full value of the claim. For this reason, it’s critical that you keep detailed records of all your interactions with the insurance company and any repair attempts they make.
The insurance company may require you to provide them with a Proof of Loss statement. This document states all of the property items that were damaged beyond repair. You should create this document in an online form and add items to it that come to mind. It can be very difficult to list all your lost belongings, especially if your entire home was destroyed. Take your time to make sure that you don’t miss anything. Include items that you may think aren’t valuable enough. Every item will add up in the end.
What If I’m Unhappy WIth My First-Party Property Insurance Company’s Response
Insurance companies can be overwhelmed with claims after a tornado damages property in Texas. In other cases, insurance companies act in bad faith and deny claims based on invalid reasons. Human error can also lead to mistakes that affect your claim. If you suspect that your insurance provider is not responding correctly to your claim, it’s essential that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Far too many tornado damage victims accept the first settlement offer, leaving them with thousands of dollars in damages that the insurance company should have paid, but didn’t. An attorney will help you review your policy and enforce your rights.
How an Experienced Tornado Damage First-Party Property Insurance Attorney Can Help
The attorneys at Wright Commercial Litigation have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. We are familiar with all the tactics they used to try to deny, underpay, or delay paying out claims due to tornado damage. Our investigative team can confirm the weather history for the damaged property. We will obtain and review previous property inspection reports, including those performed by the insurance company during the underwriting process. We will also thoroughly document existing damage.
When necessary, we have the resources to hire qualified damages and causation experts. Likewise, we can hire experts to testify in court against the insurance company. Furthermore, if you decide to contest or appeal your insurance company’s decision about your claim, we will work diligently on your behalf to defeat the insurance company’s arguments. When possible, we will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to achieve a favorable outcome. However, when a settlement can’t be reached, our trial-ready litigators are prepared to take your case to court.
Contact a Dallas-Fort Worth Tornado Damage Attorney
If your home or business experienced tornado damage in Texas, and your insurance claim is being underpaid, put on hold, or denied, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Going up against an first-party property insurance company can be intimidating, but with one of the experienced attorneys at Wright Commercial Litigation on your side, you can rest easy. Our commercial litigators have a proven track record of holding insurance companies accountable and obtaining compensation for tornado damage victims. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.