One question that you may have if you are faced with Hurricane Ida damage is - how does an attorney determine charges for representing me in my Hurricane Ida insurance claim dispute?
This is a very legitimate question that can have a big impact on whether or not you hire an attorney to represent your interest and get you full and fair compensation for your Hurricane Ida damages. The worry is that you do not want to end up with less money than the insurance company originally offered simply because you hired an attorney!
How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Insurance Claims Attorney?
I cannot speak to how any other insurance claim lawyer charges, but I will describe how I charge for these property damage claims.
I only take a fee on the increased amount received from your insurance company resulting from my involvement in your claim.
Let's look at a simple example:
You have filed a claim and had your property inspected by the insurance company's adjuster. The adjuster comes back with an estimate of damages of $20,000. You think that's too low and send the adjuster your contractor's estimate for $50,000. The adjuster does not agree and sticks to the $20,000.
Two of your options at this point are (1) accept the $20,000 or (2) hire me to fight for the other $30,000 you believe you are due. You could also continue to fight on your own.
If you hire me, my fees will be calculated only on the amount I am able to obtain for you that is above the insurance adjuster's offer you had before you hired me. So, in our example, if I am able to establish that your damages are $50,000 and you are paid $50,000, my fee would be calculated only on the $30,000 increase obtained on your claim.
I do not take a fee on the amount of damages that the adjuster was already willing to pay you without my involvement.
Why? First, you received that offer with no assistance from me (or any other attorney). Two, it simply is not right (at least to me). You should not lose money and the ability to repair your property (at least as much as the adjuster sees) by hiring an attorney.
Using our prior example, if at the end of the day the adjuster and/or a court says that your damages were $20,000, you owe no fee. Simply put, I would not have been successful and should not get paid.
What you should not want is an attorney who will take a fee on the entire amount obtained including the amount offered to you before the attorney was involved. If an attorney does that, using our example and a typical 1/3 contingency fee, you would only get $13,333.33 ($20,000 - $6,666.67).
Costs will also be taken out of the additional amount obtained on your behalf. Costs are not the same as fees. Costs are things like the amount paid to get an estimate or have a certain expert write a report to help prove your damages.
When should I hire a lawyer for an insurance claim?
If the insurance company is delaying your payments, acting in bad faith, or if there is a big difference between the amount that the insurance company is offering you and the value of your claim, then you should talk to a law firm experienced in hurricane damage claims for a case evaluation.
You did the right thing and purchased hurricane and/or flood insurance coverage. Paying your premiums month after month, year after year. If your insurance company has denied your claim or acted in bad faith, call us for a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you experienced wind or flood damage and your insurance and have any questions about attorney fees on Hurricane Ida business loss claims, Hurricane Ida homeowner damage claims, Hurricane Ida flood loss claims, or any other Hurricane Ida damage claims, give me a call at 985-240-9773.