New Orleans Hurricane Lawyers
Here in New Orleans, we’re no strangers to the lasting and traumatic effects of hurricanes. Many in our community are still dealing with the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, and more recent hurricanes like 2021’s Ida, with its cost of over $55 billion in damage and 107 deaths, will affect survivors and our state for decades to come.
Due to the risk of flooding and other damages from hurricanes, many Louisianans have purchased or are required to purchase insurance to protect us after these disasters. However, insurance providers often try to deny claims and minimize pay-outs to the people that need it most in an effort to maximize their own profits.
If you’re struggling with the physical, mental, and property damages you’ve suffered after a hurricane, and insurance is refusing to pay out your claim, you need an experienced New Orleans hurricane lawyer to help you get the funds you need to pick up the pieces.
Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are experienced Louisiana hurricane attorneys who understand the unique challenges our state’s weather can pose. Call us today for a free legal consultation about your options.
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Types of New Orleans Hurricane Damage
Hurricanes are possibly the most powerful storms on planet Earth. They often cause extensive, expensive damage to homes and properties throughout the state. Contributing to the hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage you could face include the storm’s high winds, heavy rains, and the possibility of flooding.
Over our years of helping New Orleanians from these disasters, the most common damages we’ve seen our clients suffer include
- Roof damage, caused by the strong shearing winds of a hurricane, can cost thousands of dollars—and in the worst cases, roofs can be completely removed from their buildings.
- Structural damage, such as shifting or cracked foundations from the hurricane, can leave a home uninhabitable.
- Utility damage can take the form of downed telephone and internet lines, cut power lines, and broken water mains for days or even weeks—leaving people in the dark and without drinking water.
- Interior damage caused when a storm breaches a building by ripping the roof off, shattering the windows, or the like, can include water damage, mold damage, and more.
- Equipment damage, including damage to HVAC systems, appliances, generators, and other equipment, is another risk both during the storm and after a hurricane passes.
The best way to prevent these and other damages is to prepare for hurricane season, but even with the best preparations, hurricanes can cause you harm. When that happens, you need help from an experienced New Orleans hurricane lawyer.
What part of a hurricane is most damaging?
Meteorologists usually divide a hurricane into four quadrants. While all parts of a hurricane are dangerous, its “dirty side”—the most damaging part—is the right quadrant relative to the storm’s motion. On a north-moving storm, that’s on the east, but on a west-moving storm, it’s the north.
The right front quadrant tends to have the highest storm surges, rise in sea level, and rainfall across the entire system, which are what cause the damage. In addition, the right front quadrant is where hurricanes are most likely to form when the storm makes landfall.
The reason why it’s this quadrant that causes the most damage is due to the way hurricanes rotate. A hurricane rotates counter-clockwise in the Northern hemisphere, which means the right front of the storm carries force from both its rotation and forward motion. While no part of the hurricane is safe, it’s the right front quadrant that carries the most wind and rain, and causes the most damage.
Is Flooding Covered by My Louisiana Insurance?
In Louisiana, flooding is NOT covered under most homeowners’ insurance plans. You should purchase a separate flood insurance plan to protect your home and property from the damages of flooding, hurricanes, and other extreme weather.
While homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding damage, most full-coverage automotive insurance plans do cover flooding damage. Make sure to check your policy or call your insurance company to ensure your coverage in the event of a hurricane.
How Do I File a New Orleans Hurricane Damage Claim?
If your home or property has been damaged in a hurricane, follow these steps to maximize your compensation for your damages:
1. File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Depending on the type of damage your home has suffered, you might need to file a claim with multiple insurers.
- Property, buildings, and other structures with water damage will be covered by flood insurance
- While wind damage is generally covered by homeowner’s insurance, your policy might require a “wind insurance endorsement” to cover storm wind damage
- If your car has been damaged in the storm, you’ll need to call your auto insurance company to file a claim too
2. Document Your Damages
You should take photos and videos of everything that has been damaged, including the following:
- Interior and exterior home damage
- Structural damage to your house and its foundation
- Roof damage
- Car damage
- Fallen trees on the property
- Flooded structures and property
- All other damages you and your property have suffered
3. Take Inventory of Your Losses
Find everything that you’ve lost or have been damaged due to the storm, and document it with photographic or written evidence. If possible, include receipts from when you bought the items to prove their value.
4. Start a Claim Log
Write everything down, both for your own records and to serve as evidence in the claims process. Every time you log a damaged item, speak with insurance or your New Orleans hurricane lawyer, or submit paperwork, write it in your claim log so that you can keep track of it later.
5. Get Estimates for the Cost of Repairs
Find a contractor you can trust to estimate the cost of your home repairs, ideally before you meet with your insurance adjuster. Having an estimate ready to show your adjuster will help you understand if insurance is offering enough to cover your damages, or if you’ll need to enlist the help of Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys.
6. Meet with Your Insurance Adjuster
An adjuster will come to your property to survey its damage and determine the worth of your claim. When they come out, present them with your own evidence to save time and to ensure your claim is valued properly.
7. Wait for Recovery
Waiting for your home to be repaired is the hardest part of the recovery process for most hurricane damage victims. However, because hurricanes are giant storms, everyone in the area is likely going through a similar process to yourself, so you might have to wait weeks or even a few months.
If your home is too damaged to live in during this time and you have to stay at a hotel, keep receipts from those stays, as well as restaurant bills and other costs you incur due to being displaced. Your insurer should reimburse you for these as well.
8. Collect Your Payment
Make sure your insurance payment is enough to cover the repairs to your property. If you find more damage after the initial claim, you can reopen the process to apply for more funds.
If insurance refuses to pay you a fair amount for your damages, you may have to file a lawsuit to force them to pay out. Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free legal consultation about your options after a devastating hurricane accident.
How Long Do I Have to File My Louisiana Hurricane Claim?
Louisiana statute requires that property owners file catastrophic event claims within 180 days of the event. While nearly 6 months may sound like plenty of time, it goes fast—so begin the claims process as soon as possible.
What if my insurance claim doesn’t cover my damages?
Insurance companies consistently try to pay out the minimum amount possible in damages, in order to save money and protect their bottom lines. They are not interested in your well-being or in helping you recover your losses, but the New Orleans hurricane lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are.
If your insurance company hasn’t provided you with enough to cover your hurricane losses, you can appeal their decision with the help of a New Orleans hurricane attorney. Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have helped New Orleans hurricane victims recover compensation for their damages for decades, so we know what it takes to get the money you need to get back on your feet.
Give our team of New Orleans hurricane attorneys a call today for a free consultation about your case. We’re so confident that we can help you recover what you deserve that you won’t pay us anything until we win your case.
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Filing a claim with Gordon Mckernan Injury Attorneys is easy! Simply follow the steps below.
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