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What you need to know about property damage claim time limits

Property damage claims can be taxing and time-consuming. How long do you have until you lose out on possible compensation? Read Klotzman Property Damage Law’s blog to learn more.

Why do you need to file a property damage claim?

Filing your property damage claim is the first step in securing repair and compensation for the damage your property experienced. If you fail to file a claim, your insurance provider will not offer you any compensation that would assist in rebuilding your life, so it is crucial to take the time and effort to do this. Providing a detailed claim to your insurance provider begins the long process of repair and holds the insurance company accountable, so you will not be held responsible for all of the damages.

Of the home insurance claims filed in 2020, 97.7% were property damage claims. In addition, when ranking the losses claimed within each state, specifically the losses incurred under home insurance, Florida ranks 2nd highest, behind only California. Property damage is not an uncommon event, so it is important to be prepared for it to happen, as well as the recovery process afterward.

How long do you have to file a lawsuit?

According to the Florida Statutes, you have to file your claim within four years of the damage. If a latent defect caused the damage, the deadline could be extended depending on when the damage was detected. If you miss the deadline, you can still move to file a claim, but the case will most likely be dismissed, and you will have surrendered your right to compensation.

While you technically have time to delay the filing, you still must maintain your duty to mitigate loss in order to receive the most compensation. Your duty to mitigate loss is the concept of taking the proper steps to ensure excessive damages do not result from a problem easily fixed. 

Examples could include not boarding up broken windows, not repairing roof leaks, etc. If you fail to practice this duty, the insurance company could end up covering only a fraction of the damages, leaving you to pay for the rest out of pocket.

When does Florida’s statute of limitations begin?

As a general rule, the clock for meeting the deadline set by Florida Statutes begins the day of the damaging event. However, if the damage is caused by the negligence of another, the clock begins when the negligence was first discovered or should have been discovered with due diligence

For example, if you were to pay for a pipe to be repaired, but it ended up leaking and causing water damage to your home, this would be due to negligence on the plumber’s part. If the damage is discovered months after, the four-year time limit will begin from the date the damage is found, not the repair date.

There are also a number of reasons that the deadline could be extended when suing for damages. These factors include whether the defendant leaves the state, uses a false name, or hides from the law.

Why it is important to hire an attorney

Insurance carriers often use techniques designed to lower the compensation you receive or dismiss your case altogether. You can help counteract this by taking plenty of pictures and videos of the damages, making a list of what was damaged, and providing a detailed report.

But above all else, hiring an attorney who specializes in property damage law gives you the upper hand. A professional will fight for you and can negate the insurance company’s attempt to nullify or delay your claim since your attorney will already understand how insurance companies try to avoid giving you the proper compensation in the first place.

Speak to the professionals

Property damage affects thousands of Americans each year. If you have experienced this type of accident, it is critical to take action. We can help you determine your options based on your insurance coverage. We will investigate, negotiate, and litigate your case to get you the results you deserve.

Schedule your free case review today with your Florida property damage attorney. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.

 

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