How Devastating are Residential Fires?

It only takes one disaster to change your life. To many, that disaster is a residential fire. Residential fires often occur because of negligence. The negligent party can be anyone. It could be a product designer or manufacturer of a defective appliance. It could be a resident that keep combustible materials near fire sources. It could be an electrician who has failed to detect or fix wiring problems.

Whoever is at fault, it doesn’t change the fact that residential fires are devastating. But what are the damages associated with house fires? They are enumerated below.

Insurance Bad Faith

Before talking about the more personal damages, it is important to tackle the financial difficulties associated with house fires. You may have the best insurance policy, but you should not be too complacent. According to the website of K2 Consulting & Services, LLC, insurance companies may employ tactics that may make you get way less than you deserve.

Personal Injury

A house fire may be enough to cause injury, especially to the occupants of the said house. Injuries may vary, but most of the time, they involve respiratory problems such as asphyxiation and burn injuries that may be severe enough to damage not just the skin, but also the nerves and the bones. Some burn injuries even end with amputations.

Property Damage

Of course, the occupants are not just the ones at risk, but also the properties exposed to the fire, such as the house itself, its inner workings like wiring systems and plumbing, and its appliances, furniture, and other valuable assets.

Psychological Response

Residential fire victims, particularly those who have experienced the event firsthand instead of just arriving home and seeing everything already burnt, are vulnerable to negative psychological responses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, wherein they may experience anxiety episodes in the form of flashbacks and nightmares.

Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is both a personal and financial problem. It is personal because, of course, it is lost companionship. It is financial because of the monetary burdens relating to death, including medical expenses prior to death, funeral costs, and lost benefits from various financial plans and securities.

Insurance Agent Negligence and Hurricane Insurance Claims

Texas has been besieged by some of the worst hurricanes in US history, which is why most homeowners and businesses acquire hurricane insurance to cover property damage and/or business losses. Typically, policyholders have difficulty understanding the different types of policies being offered to them, and rely on their insurance agent to give them what they need based on their circumstances. In most cases, an insurance agent will give them the correct information and ensure that they have adequate coverage for anticipated events i.e. hurricanes.

Unfortunately, not all insurance agents do their job as they should, and it is only when the policyholder makes a claim that they discover the policy they had paid for (and for many have done so for years) does not actually given them the coverage they asked for and thought they had. As a result, many policyholders were unable to recover business loss and repair expenses.

If your insurance agent failed to provide a policyholder with the insurance they wanted either intentionally or in error, or failed to inform the policyholder of the fact that they were not paying for the policy they want or need, this can be considered agent negligence, and the agent can be held liable for damages incurred by the policyholder.

This is far from cut-and-dried, however. The law is subject to interpretation, and the burden of proof for a negligence claim is on the plaintiff. As mentioned in the website of the law firm Williams Kherkher, it is not easy to prove that you had asked for and believed you had paid for a specific type of policy if you don’t actually have the policy.

If you survived a calamity such as Hurricane Sandy only to discover that you did not have the coverage you thought you had for your losses, your agent may have been negligent. Contact a hurricane insurance lawyer in your state and state your case. A competent lawyer will be able to advise you about your legal options.