February 23, 2023

Documenting Damage from a Hurricane: Essential Steps for New Orleans Residents

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Hurricane season in New Orleans can be a traumatic experience, leaving many residents with property damage and other losses. It’s essential to document the damage to your property, as this can help you make a successful insurance claim and receive compensation for your losses.

Here are the necessary steps to take when documenting damage from a hurricane.

Take Photos and Videos

Take detailed photos and videos of all hurricane damages, including any structural damage to your home, such as broken windows, and any damaged personal belongings. Be sure to include a clear date and time stamp on all photos and videos.

Photos and videos serve as evidence of the damage to your property. They provide a visual representation of the extent of the storm damage, which is essential for your insurance claim form. Photos and videos serve as a record of the damage. They allow you to see the extent of the damage later, which can be helpful if you need to make a claim or if you need to provide evidence in court. 

Keep Receipts

Save receipts for any expenses related to the damage and recovery process, including hotel stays, food, and transportation costs. Receipts serve as proof of expenses related to the damage. This documentation is essential for making a successful insurance claim.

Also, by keeping receipts, you can protect yourself against fraud. For example, if the insurance company claims some of your expenses weren’t related to the hurricane, you’ll have evidence to refute their claims.

Make a List of Damaged Items

Properly document all damaged items, including their value and any relevant information, such as make and model.

A list of damaged items serves as evidence of the damage to your property. It provides a clear and concise record of the items that were damaged, which is essential for insurance purposes.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage and assess the claim. Contacting your insurance company as soon as possible is important to ensure the timely filing of your claim. Delaying the filing of your claim can result in a lower settlement or the denial of your claim.

Keep Track of Communication

Keep track of all communication with your insurance company—including the date, time, and who you spoke with—in an easy-to-access location. This can help you keep track of the progress of your claim.

Keeping a record of all communication with your insurance company can help you keep track of the progress of your claim and ensure that all relevant information has been documented. A record of communication with your insurance company can also serve as evidence in the event of a dispute or lawsuit. 

Get Multiple Estimates

Get multiple estimates from contractors to repair the damage and keep copies of all estimates for your records. Getting multiple estimates from reputable contractors can help you determine the true cost of repairing or replacing damaged property. Also providing multiple estimates to your insurance company can serve as evidence of the damages incurred and help support your insurance claim. 

Get a Professional Appraisal

If you have valuable items that have been damaged, such as jewelry, antiques, or fine art, consider getting a professional appraisal. A professional appraiser can provide an accurate assessment of the damage to your property, including the cost of repairs or replacement.

Also, a professional appraiser is an impartial third party who can provide an objective assessment of the damage to your property.

Document Temporary Repairs

If you make temporary repairs to your property, such as tarping a roof or boarding up windows, document these repairs as well.

Documenting temporary repairs can also help you prevent further damage to your property. For example, if you cover a damaged roof with tarps, documenting the tarps and the date they were installed can help demonstrate your efforts to prevent additional damage.

Store All Documentation

Store all documentation, including photos, receipts, and communication, in a safe and secure place for future reference. When you need to make a claim or present your documentation to a court, you’ll need to have easy access to it. By safely storing your documentation, you can quickly retrieve it when needed.

Seek Legal Assistance

If you have trouble with your insurance claim, seek the assistance of a personal injury firm in New Orleans. Legal professionals who specialize in personal injury have extensive experience with insurance claims and can help you navigate the complex claims process.

Legal professionals can help you protect your rights and ensure that your insurance company is treating you fairly. This includes helping you understand the terms of your policy and ensure that your insurance company is following the applicable laws and regulations.

At the end of the day, a lawyer can help you navigate the process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. 

By following these essential steps, you can document the damage from a hurricane effectively and increase your chances of receiving compensation for your losses. If you have any questions or need assistance with a personal injury claim, contact Cueria Law Firm today.  Stay safe this hurricane season!

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