Your Guide to Property Damage Lawyers

A man’s hand stops wood blocks from falling on a wooden model house

Property damage can happen in all kinds of ways. From a falling tree branch to a wildfire to a sewer backup, there are many kinds of perils that can end up costing you.

Most of the time, property owners can turn to their home insurance for the funds to rebuild and recover after suffering from a loss. But filing an insurance claim and dealing with the property insurance adjuster can also be stressful and complicated.

If you have a major loss, you may need to hire a property damage lawyer to make sure your recover the funds necessary to repair the damage.

What Is a Property Damage Lawyer?

A property damage lawyer is a professional who can assist with your insurance claim and pursue compensation for property damage caused by another party. They will walk you through all of your options, handle parts of the claims process, and help you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

Property damage lawyers typically have extensive experience with insurance claims and apply their knowledge to ensure that their clients can come to a fair settlement with their insurers.

What Causes Property Damage?

The cause of property damage will typically determine whether or not you can file an insurance claim. Home insurance typically covers losses such as:

  • Fire and smoke damage (including wildfires)
  • Water damage
  • Wind and hail damage
  • Theft
  • Unintentional injuries on your property
  • Unintentional damage to someone else’s property

It is also possible to take out home insurance policies that cover damage from flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, and landslides.

Any of these losses can be devastating. In the event of a total loss, the average cost of construction in Canada for a single-family home is between $120 and $275 per square foot. Property damage lawyers can also help with insurance claims related to condos, vacation homes, and commercial properties.

Other Types of Property Damage

In addition to fire, floods, and natural disasters, property damage can also be the result of human activities and errors:

  • Damage to a rental property caused by tenants
  • Damage caused by a neighbour intentionally, unintentionally, or through negligence
  • Property damaged in a car accident

In each of these cases, a property damage lawyer can help you navigate the best way to receive compensation, whether that is from your insurance company or through the other party’s own liability insurance.

A cardboard cut out of a fire causing property damage to a house

How Can a Property Damage Lawyer Help You?

Much of a property damage lawyer’s job is to help with your insurance claim, which is one reason they may also go by the title of insurance claim lawyer. They help you manage and navigate your insurance claim to make sure that no element of your coverage is overlooked and that you receive all of the compensation you are owed according to your insurance policy.

Part of what a property damage lawyer does is review the amounts the insurance company offers to pay for things like structural repairs and personal property. When a property owner feels like the insurance company has underestimated the cost of repairing and replacing damaged property, the property damage lawyer compares the insurer’s offer to the policy details to see where they can push back for a better offer.

In addition to the insurance claim, property damage lawyers can also get involved in third-party liability claims. As soon as a third party gets involved, an insurance claim can become much more complicated. Third-party liability comes into play when a neighbour unintentionally or through negligence causes damage to your own property.

For example, a neighbour improperly stores propane tanks in their backyard, and it leads to a fire. The fire spreads across the property lines and affects your home. You have two options in this case. Your first option is to pursue the neighbour for damages. The neighbour’s own liability insurance will cover their settlement, but this can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, especially if other property owners were also affected. The insurer can wait up to two years before beginning the settlement process, as all affected parties have up to two years to file a lawsuit.

The second option is to make a claim through  your own fire insurance. The insurance company works on your claim directly with you, while you give up the right to pursue the neighbour for damages. In a process called subrogation, your insurer will later pursue the neighbour’s insurer to recoup their own costs.

You are still able to pursue the neighbour for any costs not covered by the insurance claim, and a property damage lawyer can help you navigate that process as well.

Should You Hire a Property Damage Lawyer?

Whether or not you should hire a property damage lawyer largely depends on the size and complexity of your claim. Lawyers for property damage can offer the most help on significant claims, such as major flooding or fire. In cases of a total loss, such as a fire that destroys your whole home, you want to do everything you can to make sure you receive fair compensation from your insurance company while reducing the stress involved in making a claim.

If you are looking for a property damage lawyer in Toronto or anywhere in Canada to help with a complex or sizable claim, contact Virani Law to discuss the particulars of your case.

The insurance recovery process can be a difficult one. We help you with the most stressful parts of your claim while you focus on recovering and rebuilding after a loss.

How to Handle Property Damage Claims

Property damage claims can be a lot of work. They may involve creating a Schedule of Loss, which is an extensive list of lost and damaged personal belongings, as well as filing and sorting receipts for lost belongings and expenses that are part of the recovery process. You may have to review repair estimates and spend a large amount of time communicating and negotiating with an insurance adjuster.

Property damage lawyers can assist every step of the way. If you disagree with an adjuster’s assessment, a property damage lawyer can help you address the issue. .

If you need a property damage lawyer, contact us to talk about your claim. We make sure you get the assistance you need to rebuild.