WHY SHOULD I HIRE THE OLINDE FIRM TO REPRESENT ME?
EXPERIENCE: Fred Olinde has litigated numerous hurricane cases, including trying hurricane cases to a jury. He has obtained recoveries ranging from thousands of dollars to over a million dollars on property damage cases and hurricane cases.
LITIGATION TEAM: Although the Olinde Firm is a Mandeville firm, Fred is “of counsel” to Huber, Thomas & Marcelle, a firm with many attorneys and staff who are also experienced in hurricane cases and property litigation. Many of our lawyers are former state and federal prosecutors who have a great deal of trial experience. In our opinion, this matters when it comes to making insurers pay what they owe. You will not pay any more to have an entire team of support on your side.
INSURANCE COMPANIES OFTEN WILL UNDERPAY POLICY HOLDERS: Although contractually obligated to pay what they owe, some insurance companies decide that their own bottom line is more important than making their policy holders whole. This is accomplished by failing to account for hidden damages such as moisture behind the walls, minimizing the scope of necessary repairs and minimizing the costs to make them. This results in a savings to the insurance company and a deficit to the policy holder.
CONVENIENCE: We can meet with you at our Northshore locations in Covington or Hammond or if you prefer at Huber, Thomas & Marcelle on Poydras street.
OUR FEES AND COSTS ARE CONTINGENT UPON US OBTAINING MORE MONEY FOR YOU, NOT LESS:
If we accept your case, our fees and our costs that we advance are contingent upon obtaining more money than the insurance company was willing to pay you prior to our involvement. We will never ask you to write us a check. All fees and costs will be deducted from any extra money we obtain on your behalf.
Contact our office now by calling (985) 777-1000 on weekdays between 9am and 5pm or at (504) 274-2500 afterhours and on the weekends. Let one of our property damage claim lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve for damages or losses as a result of Hurricane Ida.
TYPICAL ITEMS OF RECOVERY IN A HURRICANE CASE
Damages to the Insureds Structure: The policy holder in most cases is entitled to actual cash value (ACV) until repairs are complete and then can recover replacement costs value (RCV). While RCV is the replacement costs, ACV accounts for depreciation. Many policies impose time limits to recover the full cost of replacement. Therefore, it is not in your interest to delay hiring an attorney if you are at a stalemate with your insurance carrier.
Damages to additional structures: These structures typically include fences and detached garages.
Additional Living Expenses (ALE): This typically includes the costs of food, gas, lodging and other expenses due to evacuation from the hurricane or in instances where your home in uninhabitable following the storm. Many insurance carriers are refusing to pay these expenses claiming that no mandatory evacuation was issued when in fact there was no time to issue one. If your insurance company is not paying you ALE, you may need to hire an attorney to obtain these funds.
Contents: After a water intrusion or wind event, your contents may be damaged or destroyed you need to make a list of contents and research their value. Many insurers will get around paying a contents claim that is not properly documented. We can help with this process.
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUSINESSES
In addition to the homeowners’ types of coverages, many commercial property policies provide additional coverages, such as coverage for business interruption. These claims typically require that they arise from a “covered cause of loss”. It’s very important to hire an attorney that has experience in understanding all of the nuances involved in commercial property policies, including exclusions that the insurer may raise in an attempt to defeat legitimate claims. In many cases, the exclusion does not apply because the loss of business income and costs for extra expenses were incurred by a covered cause of loss, namely wind and wind driven rain after a hurricane. We have a great deal of experience handling commercial property damage claims with a proven track record.
COMMON HURRICANE DAMAGE TO PROPERTY THAT MANY INSURERS IGNORE AND FAIL TO PAY
Let’s start by understanding that hurricane Ida left devastating damage to many Louisiana homeowners and business owner’s property. Strong winds topping out at 150 mph caused both obvious and concealed damage. Typically, the claims adjuster only writes up obvious damages on his “scope of damages” stating that he can only pay what he “sees”. What are typical latent damages not accounted for by the adjuster?
THE ROOF: With winds hitting 130 to 150 mph or more, hurricane Ida compromised the shingles on many roof tops. Even if there were only a few shingles blown off of your roof, in all probability many other shingles have been weakened or have lost structural integrity as a result of this severe wind event. Insurers often will not agree to full roof replacement when full roof replacement is needed. We have a team of experts that will do a through investigation of your roof so that we can obtain a full roof replacement where it is warranted.
WATER INTRUSION: When there is water intrusion into your home, gravity causes the water to run down from your roof or broken window down the back of your walls. Adjusters typically do not use infra-red cameras to discover these damages but instead choose to pretend that they don’t exist. This is problematic because if these walls are not dried properly and immediately, mold will begin to grow and your home could become a hazardous living space. We will do a thorough investigation to determine what walls may need to be replaced.
There are too many examples of how insurers underpay claims to list them all but the above ones are most common. The bottom line is you often need an attorney to be fully compensated.
If you, a loved one, or friend has suffered damage or loss as a result of Hurricane Ida, the Olinde Firm urges you to contact us by calling (785) 777-1000 from 9am to 5pm during the weekdays or call (504) 274-2500 afterhours and on the weekends. Call now for a FREE initial consultation.
LOUISIANA LAWS ARE DESIGNED TO PROTECT YOU BUT ONLY IF YOU ACT TO PROTECT YOURSELF.
A suit for damages against your insurance company is a breach of contract case. The insurance company is paid a premium and it accepts all of the risks listed in the policy subject to certain limited exclusions. What happens in an insurance claim where the policy holder is not represented by an attorney is that the insurance company is the one to decide how much they think they should pay you. This is a conflict of interest because the less they pay you, the more they keep.
Some insurance carriers hire what they call an “independent adjuster” who ostensibly gets paid more if he finds more damages. Common sense should tell you if they were hired by an insurance company that would benefit from minimizing your claim, they are not “independent”. Anything submitted by these adjusters is subject to review and revision by your insurance company behind the scenes. Through prior cases we have learned that some of these “independent adjusters” only work for a handful of insurance companies and are provided strict instructions on how to handle the claims process for them. This process does not result in a greater payout to the policy holder, only the illusion of impartiality.
While a “public adjuster” may be of some benefit to you, insurance companies know that public adjusters are not lawyers and cannot sue them if there is a disagreement. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to make sure that you are placed on a level playing field with the insurance company.
Louisiana has statutory laws that can allow homeowners in some cases to recover statutory penalties and attorneys’ fees against an insurance company found to be in “bad faith”. These penalties are triggered when your claim has been properly documented and correctly presented to the insurance carrier by way of a “proof of loss”. While these penalties theoretically are triggered by an arbitrary and capricious refusal by the company to pay after receiving notice and “proof of loss”, in reality are only available to policy holders that litigate their claims against unfair insurance companies with an attorney. We can properly document your proof of loss to insure that you are paid what you are owed. If we believe you were underpaid, we’ll go to court and to trial if necessary to make sure you are paid fairly.
THE ROLE OF A PROPERTY DAMAGE INSURANCE CLAIMS ATTORNEY
The Olinde Firm along with its resources of competent lawyers and staff are dedicated to your property damage claim. We have helped our clients recover the full value of their damages both in settlement and at trial.
If you feel you have been offered too little for your property damage claim, don’t give up and don’t allow the insurance company to get away with underpaying you. The Olinde Firm can help!
If you, a friend, or loved one has experience property damage from Hurricane Ida, the Olinde Firm strongly recommends contacting our office at (985) 777-1000 on weekdays between 9am and 5pm or at (504) 274-2500 afterhours and on the weekends. Call now for a FREE initial consultation. Our law firm offers its property damage clients ZERO-OUT-OF-POCKET costs to handle your insurance claim dispute.
FREE CASE REVIEW
If you, a friend, or loved one has experience property damage from Hurricane Ida, don't be underpaid on your claim. Contact Us For A FREE CONSULTATION.
19335 N.9th Street
Covington, LA 70433
1300 W. Morris, 2nd Floor
Hammond, LA 70403
Of Counsel at Huber, Thomas & Marcelle
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 2200
New Orleans, LA 70163
Contact our office at (985) 777-1000 on weekdays between 9am and 5pm or at (504) 274-2500 after-hours and on the weekends.
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