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Fire Damage 

A fire loss occurrence can happen to anyone. Dealing with a loss like this can be extremely stressful, even for the strongest of individuals. That's why when you add the back and forth with the insurance companies and claims adjusters, and it can be extremely overwhelming. House fires cause severe damages to both property and the structure of your homes. Those repairs can be very costly to repair.  Therefore we've compiled some commonly asked questions related to Fire Damages for. 

What should I do if my home experiences fire damage?

It's important to note any damages that your home experienced should be documented. Whether it's in photographs or videos, make sure you have it.  After this is done you are going to want to consult an independent contractor to assess the damages. They will tell you whether you are dealing with a total or partial loss. Knowing that information will help properly set your expectations. Although if you are trying to get certain things repaired in a crunch make sure you keep the receipts/logs of any expenses for repairs that you have done. 

Why might my fire damage claim be denied?

There are very few reasons that fire damage claims can get denied. Some of the main reasons are the following: It was considered an act of arson, the valuation of damages are different, you violated the terms in your insurance policy, or you made a fraudulent claim. ​

What is smoke damage? 

Smoke damage is a concern not only for damages to your property but also for your personal health. The fine particles that make up smoke can lodge themselves into your skin, eyes, or respiratory system and create several health issues.

Is smoke damage covered under my policy? 

In most cases, yes it is considered covered peril under your insurance policy. However, there may be some disputes that arise depending on the severity of that smoke damage regarding your claim. Since smoke can discolor and attach itself to fabrics, it's difficult to assess how to handle the situation. Often people will pay for cleaning services, but there can be discrepancies over whether the items need cleaning or replacing.

What is the difference between a partial and total loss due to smoke or fire damage?  

A partial loss is when the property is not destroyed entirely. These damages are often more hidden issues. They can include anything from improper repairs, smoke and/or ash remnants, diminished air quality, or air duct destruction. The biggest issue with partial loss claims is the delay, because the damages are partial most insurances consider them low priority cases. 

A total loss is when the property is destroyed. The insurer is the one who determines if a case is considered a total loss. Even with that you may hire a public adjuster to assess the damage and determine whether it meets the criteria for a total loss prior to submitting your fire and smoke damage claim. A strong sign of a total loss is considerable structural damage. If any core components of the property are damaged, thus rendering the foundation as hazardous or otherwise, the property may be considered a total loss.

Which areas of a home are most commonly associated with fire and smoke damage? 

It is important to perform a thorough inspection of your property after sustaining fire and smoke damage. You do not want to leave any area with damages un-identified. Therefore, it is important to have an independent damage assessment in addition to your insurer’s inspection. Some areas to specifically look out for are your roof, any structural steel or iron, stucco, siding or concrete, windows, plumbing and heating systems, and any interior walls/framing.

How do I find a fire damage attorney near me? 

If you are looking for an experienced fire damage attorney to help you with your claim, contact Property Damage Lawyers PLLC. Our lead attorney Dahlene Miller will walk you through every step of the process and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. 

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