If you are a victim of theft in your Florida home, commercial property, condo, watercraft, or business, it is time to consult our Fort Lauderdale theft lawyer. Theft can translate into huge dollar amounts lost, especially when it comes to items like family heirlooms. If you or a family member is a victim of theft, you understand the fear, anxiety, and stress that come with the experience.
However, the good news is that with homeowner’s insurance, you will get some relief in the form of compensation for property damage. On the other hand, filing a claim and following the whole process may be difficult and frustrating for you. That is because a theft claim also involves a criminal investigation, which is a process that will take your valuable time.
This is why it would be wise to seek the services of an experienced property damage lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Only an experienced lawyer will make your theft claim process easy. Our task is to make sure that your insurance company does not take advantage of you by denying your claim or offering a low settlement. With us by your side, we will ensure that you get fair compensation.
Call us today at 954-915-7405 for a free initial case evaluation and consultation to learn more about your legal options based on your insurance policy. At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we will use everything within our power to not only protect your rights but to ensure you get fair compensation.
The Types of Property Theft
The word “Theft” is commonly used to refer to crimes involving one person taking another person’s property without their consent. However, legally, the word “theft” is broad and covers more than one category, and comes in multiple degrees of crime.
Legally, the definition of theft is the unlawful taking of property from another with the aim of permanently depriving them of it. In Florida, property theft falls under property crimes and comes with different levels of offenses (from low-level offenses like shoplifting to high-level offenses like armed robbery).
The primary aim of a thief is to find and take anything of value that you own. This can be anything from valuable jewelry to electronics to cash. In fact, according to a report compiled by police, electronics and jewelry are the most targeted items.
Below are the specific types of property theft.
Petty (Petit) Theft
Legally, petty theft occurs when the stolen goods are below a specified value. It is important to note that the value at which a theft is classified as petty differs from one state to another. In Florida, theft is classified as “petty” if the taken property is valued at under $750, and it is a misdemeanor offense with penalties that may include community service, probation, jail time, and/or restitution.
This type of offense occurs when the property taken is estimated to be worth more than the set limit. It is important to note that the value is calculated by the market value at which the property was taken during the theft. Grand theft is classified as a felony and comes with serious consequences.
Additional Categories of Theft
A state may create an additional category or type of theft to fight against a rising offense at that time. “Grand Theft Auto” or motor vehicle theft is charged as a third-degree felony under Florida law. Carjacking in Florida is a first-degree felony.
What Should I Do After a Theft?
The actions you take after a theft will help build and strengthen your compensation claim. For this reason, we recommend following these steps.
Call the Cops
The first thing you should do after a theft is to call the police. Remember, a theft claim involves criminal offenses, and for your insurance compensation to be successful, you need a police investigation report.
Avoid Touching Any Property
If your theft case involves a burglary, wait until the police arrive before touching anything in your home. The idea is to avoid tampering with a crime scene. The police will look for DNA, fingerprints, or/and footprint evidence. Taking photos is an added benefit.
Make a List of Missing Items
Create a list of missing items and give it to the police. The idea is to have them included in the police report.
Inform Your Home Insurance Company
Inform your home insurance company immediately and provide the crime reference number given to you by the police. Do not forget to provide a list of all the items stolen and the damage caused.
Contact a Property Damage Attorney
The next step is to call a theft lawyer to work on your compensation claim for you. The lawyer will ensure the process runs smoothly while you recover from the shock.
Is My Property Protected Against Theft By Insurance?
The good news is that homeowner’s insurance covers theft. This means that it covers personal stolen property and pays for damage related to the theft. The following are three types of damage a home insurance policy covers in case of theft.
- Personal property coverage – The insurance company will replace or repair any personal property that may be damaged or stolen after a theft has occurred.
- Dwelling coverage – The insurance company will pay for any damage to your property or house that was a result of the theft. For example, a broken window or door.
- Other structure coverage – The insurance company will pay for the repair of any detached structure that was damaged during the theft. For example, the shed door.
It is highly important to know if you are covered for ACV (Actual Cash Value) or RCV (Replacement Cost Value).
The difference between the two is straightforward. ACV involves reimbursement for the amount of a stolen or damaged item based on its current worth. RCV involves reimbursing the amount it would cost to replace the same product in the current market.
What If My Insurance Denies My Theft Claim?
All insurance companies are businesses like any other. For this reason, their goal is to increase revenue while decreasing expenditure. For this reason, an insurance company will look for any reason to deny your claim. In fact, more often than you think, insurance companies deny theft claims.
The good thing is that they are legally required to provide a written justification for why they are denying the claim. However, unless you assert your rights, they frequently refuse to provide a written justification.
This is why it is wise to seek the services of an experienced property damage lawyer to work on your claim from the start. At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we will fight against any denial and ensure the insurance company reimburses your loss.
How Can a Fort Lauderdale Theft Lawyer Help Me?
An insurance company will treat your theft claim differently if handled by a lawyer. Our lawyers will perform different tasks to make your claim successful. For example, assuming that your claim is denied, our Fort Lauderdale theft lawyer will collect all relevant documents to argue against the denial. We will protect your rights by ensuring you get fair compensation.
The benefits of having a lawyer by your side include the following.
- We work with teams of experts to make your claim successful.
- We investigate the damages suffered.
- We calculate the amount you are owed for the damages.
- We negotiate with the insurance company for you and come up with a favorable settlement.
- If negotiations fail, we will take the case to a civil court.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation, call us today.
Our team will take the lead to obtain a quick and stress-free resolution the moment you contact us. That is because we will correspond with your insurance company directly on your behalf and fight back if your claim is underpaid or denied.
Get Help With Your Theft Insurance Claim Today!
If you are a victim of theft in your Florida home, commercial property, condo, watercraft, or business, it is time to consult our Fort Lauderdale theft lawyer. Our task is to make sure that your insurance company does not take advantage of you by denying your claim or offering a low settlement. With us by your side, we will ensure that you get fair compensation.
At Klotzman Property Damage Law, we understand how challenging it can be to find the right lawyer for you in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That is why we offer a free case evaluation to determine if you are covered by your home insurance policy. You can take the opportunity to ask our Fort Lauderdale theft lawyer any questions and learn your legal options.
This will save you time and energy Googling for a professional and experienced lawyer. If your insurance company violates its duty of good faith, call us today at 954-915-7405. Schedule a free case review and learn your legal options.