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Hurricane Insurance Claims Attorneys in Alabama

Helping victims of hurricanes in Mobile and throughout the state

Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause devastating damage. The swirling winds and heavy rains can cause flooding, trees to fall on homes, extensive damage to roofs and siding, structural damage that may be beyond repair, and other damages to buildings and personal property.

Residents may be required to evacuate before a hurricane. After a hurricane or intense tropical storm, homeowners and property owners need fast relief. At Warhurst Law, we protect policyholders after hurricanes change everything. When available, we also work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and any state or local emergency aid agencies.

Compensation obtained by Warhurst Law for hurricane victims

Hurricanes can do millions of dollars in damage, yet policyholders are often left holding the short end of the stick. Just ask victims of Hurricane Katrina and Ivan. At Warhurst Law, we’ve been very successful in obtaining additional compensation and stronger settlements for commercial, and non-profit policyholders:

Hurricane Katrina

  • $26 million settlement for an apartment complex previously offered $3 million
  • $11 million settlement for an apartment complex’s property damage, settled pre-suit
  • $2.2 million settlement for an A/C business which was originally offered $200,000
  • $1.3 million settlement for a radio station originally offered $19,000
  • $700,000 settlement for a high school that was originally offered nothing

Hurricane Ivan

  • $750,000 settlement for a property damage claim for an apartment complex

Our Case Results

$11 Million Hurricane
Hurricane Katrina property damage of New Orleans apartment complex settled pre-suit.

Katrina Settlement

$2.4 Million Settlement in Commercial Tornado Claim
Warhurst Law secured $2.2 million in additional recovery for a lumber mill damaged in a tornado.

Tornado Claim

$2.226 Million Fire Loss Settlement
Warhurst Law secured more than $2.226 million in additional recovery for a Baptist Church

Fire Loss Settlement

$1.3 Million Car Crash Settlement
Client was in a car accident resulting in severe brain damage.

Car Crash Settlement

$26 Million Hurricane Katrina Settlement
Hurricane Katrina loss of New Orleans Apartment complex previously offered $3 million.

Katrina Settlement

The reasons Alabama hurricanes cause so much damage

Hurricanes are defined by the NOAA as a “tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 74 mph or more.” In addition to high winds and flooding, hurricanes can also cause deadly and dangerous tornadoes and thunderstorms. Thunderstorms, in turn, can cause fires due to the lightning strikes. The most severe hurricane is category 5 hurricane which can cause winds of up to 157 mph which can cause buildings to collapse and devastate entire communities. Category 1 through 3 storms are defined as follows:

  • “Category One. Wind speeds of 74-95 miles per hour, capable of producing dangerous winds causing damage to a building’s exterior, trees, and power lines.”
  • “Category Two. Wind speeds of 96-110 miles per hour, capable of causing extensive damage to a building’s structure, uprooting trees, and damaging vehicles and other items exposed to the weather.”
  • “Category Three. Wind speeds of 111-129 miles per hour capable of causing devastating damage to buildings, trees, roads, and power lines.”

Mobile has had its fair share of hurricane damage, especially given its close proximity to the Gulf, but the last few years have been hard on Alabama in general. The winds from Hurricane Michael did extensive damage in our state; before that, we sustained serious losses form Katrina, Ivan and even Andrew (though most of Andrew’s damage was the result of the tornadoes which formed out of the storm).

Types of hurricane damage

Depending on the intensity of the hurricane and the position and structure of your home or building, hurricanes can cause:

  • Structural damage to homes. Damage to the roof, windows, basements, sides, and other parts of the home can make them inhabitable. Home and property owners must have their home examined by experienced building inspectors, engineers, and other qualified professionals to determine if the home can be repaired and what repairs are necessary. In some cases, the damage may be unrepairable.
  • Damage to infrastructure. This can include damage to bridges and roadways, which can affect ingress/egress for business owners.
  • Disease and contamination. Local government inspectors will need to check whether the pollutants from oil and gas or sewage pose a threat to anyone in the home or the local community.
  • Downed utilities. Hurricanes often knock out power lines, phone lines, and gas lines. In addition to health issues, these damaged lines can affect a business’s ability to work and a homeowner’s ability to communicate, eat, and sleep.
  • Tree damage. If trees fall and cause damage to your home or the property of a neighbor, a skilled Alabama hurricane lawyer can review the coverage issues.
  • Mold and bacteria damage. If there isn’t an immediate cleanup, these seemingly small matters can cost you a fortune. Remember: any storm strong enough to crack bricks is strong enough to break through the weather taping around your doors and windows, and that’s how water seeps in.

In many cases, the victims of any category hurricane will need to find new living quarters until their home can be repaired. Businesses will likely need to find a new place to meet clients. Homeowner’s and/or flood insurance policies should cover these temporary expenses.

What steps to take after a hurricane in Alabama

The most important step is to speak with a skilled Alabama insurance attorney as soon as possible. He’ll take the following actions:

  • Review with you and professionals the full scope of the damage. This includes structural damage, damage to the interior and exterior of the home or building, damage to the utilities, and landscaping damage. It also includes vehicle damage and damage to personal possessions and businesses’ inventory and equipment. Our skilled lawyers work with building professionals who understand how to detail the damage to your home and provide an estimate for the cost to repair, rebuild, or replace the damaged home and possessions.
  • File a claim with your homeowners’ or property owner’s insurance policy. In addition to wind damage, this policy should cover water damage that isn’t due to an overflow. If water entered your home through the doors, leaks in the roofs, windows, or other openings, the homeowner’s policy should pay for any damage the water caused.
  • File a flood insurance claim. This policy should have been obtained separately from your homeowner’s policy. Flood insurance should cover damage that is due to water overflow. For example, if the hurricane causes a lake or reservoir to flood your home or property.
  • Seek comprehensive insurance proceeds. This insurance is for the damage to your car, truck, or other vehicle. It’s separate from your liability insurance coverage.
  • Value the damage. In addition to the cost to repair or rebuild, damages may include the cost to relocate. Damages should ideally include the replacement value of:
    • All your possessions
    • Continuing expenses such as the mortgage and utilities
    • Living expenses

Home, church, business, and property owners, with guidance from their hurricane insurance lawyer, will also:

  • Need to work with FEMA and other agencies that are called to the site of the hurricane.
  • Should review what immediate safety measures should be taken to protect the remains of your home and property until your case is resolved through your lawyer.
  • Should take photographs and videos of any visible damage.
  • Keep records of any expenses such as the cost to stay in a hotel.
  • Locate and/or update the inventory of all your possessions. It’s a good idea to list all your possessions online so you can access them in case your computer is damaged.

Common insurance disputes after a hurricane

Insurance companies will try to deny your claim. They’ll delay offering a fair settlement because they know you’re under financial pressure. They’ll low-ball your damages. Experienced hurricane insurance lawyers anticipate these arguments. We work with professionals to document and validate your claims. We pinpoint the clauses in your insurance contract that the insurance company should honor. When necessary, we go to court to get justice.

Some of the tricks and defenses we’re ready for include:

  • Trying to pay you the fair market value of your damaged items instead of the replacement value. The value of a sofa may be $200 if you tried to sell it in good condition. The cost to buy a new one, replace it, might be $1,000. We argue for replacement damages.
  • The need for an advance. Insurance companies should be willing to pay an advance for your temporary living expenses. You shouldn’t need to wait until all the issues are settled because settlements can take a while and you need a place to live – now.
  • Bad faith negotiation. We let the insurance company know we’re ready to file bad faith claims which can mean the insurance company pays all your damages, not just the policy limits, and it pays your legal fees.

Make the call to a respected Alabama attorney today

Don’t delay. Experienced hurricane insurance lawyers investigate and verify your damages including hidden damages. At Warhurst Law, we understand what insurance companies should pay and when they should make payments. We hold companies to the letter of their contracts. The companies were happy to take your premiums. They should pay you when hurricanes change your world. To understand your rights after a hurricane or tropical storm, call 251-694-1932 or complete our contact form to make an appointment. We represent businesses in Mobile and across Alabama and the Southeast.

* Warhurst Law cannot and does not guarantee an outcome to any case.

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