On September 1, 2008, Hurricane Gustav slammed into Louisiana with winds in excess of 110 mph, causing extensive property damage across Louisiana. In terms of widespread property loss, Hurricane Gustav was one of the most devastating wind-damage storms in Louisiana’s history. Baton Rouge, in particular, suffered massive property damage as a result of Hurricane Gustav’s powerful force. But many other areas of Louisiana were seriously affected by Gustav’s force, including cities like Houma, Lafayette, New Iberia, Abbeville, Ville Platte, and Plaquemine.
Just two weeks later, a second storm, named Hurricane Ike, ravaged the Gulf coast again causing extensive damage to Louisiana and leaving its citizens in a state of disbelief. Hurricane Ike’s damage was also widespread but, ironically, unlike the massive wind-damage caused by Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike’s massive property damage was caused in large part by its resulting flooding. Ike’s storm surge also caused significant damage to many low-lying cities on the Louisiana coast, such as Lake Charles, Abbeville, Delcambre, Erath, Morgan City, and Franklin.
Because of the damage associated with Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, more than one million Louisiana citizens were left without power and were temporarily displaced. In Baton Rouge, for example, many insureds waited more than two weeks before power was restored. Business owners across Louisiana had their business interrupted and were forced to shut operations down not knowing when they could re-open or whether they would ever return to pre-storm conditions. Unfortunately, all too frequently insurance carriers did not provide their insureds with the compensation or attention they deserved, failing to timely and properly adjust many hurricane claims, leaving those homeowners and business owners lurking in the lurch with regard to their respective losses.
The good news, however, is that it’s not too late to act. Regardless of whether you have accepted payment from your insurance company, you may still be entitled to compensation for the losses you sustained as a result of Hurricane Gustav and/or Hurricane Ike, especially in instances in which the insurance company failed to properly adjust your hurricane claim. The same is true of your Louisiana business losses – that is, the business interruption loss – caused by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. If you have business interruption insurance under your homeowner’s policy you may be entitled not just to your property losses but also compensation for the profits and losses which your business sustained as a result of hurricane damage. But you should act quickly and contact a hurricane attorney/lawyer as soon as your dispute arises.
In most instances, your hurricane dispute claim must be filed within 24 months from the date of the property damage sustained. However, this is an unsettled area of the law and one in which you should consult an attorney to find out the time deadline on your particular claim. Importantly, each aggrieved person’s claim will vary depending on the specific terms of the policy at issue and, therefore, a professional consultation regarding the merits of your potential case is always recommended.
Contact The Voorhies Law Firm today for a free consultation and let it advise you as to your potential for additional recovery for your property damage and any additional losses you sustained because of the effects of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. It is important that you contact an attorney/lawyer who is experienced in handling hurricane dispute claims. The Voorhies Law Firm has handled property damage claims arising out of Hurricane Katrina and other storms and is well-versed in this specialized area of law. Unlike many practice areas, hurricane claim disputes can often be resolved without filing suit. But in order to increase the chance of reaching an amicable resolution with regard to your hurricane claim, your attorney/lawyer must be familiar with the insurance dispute process. The Voorhies Law Firm has the experience and resources necessary to take swift action on your hurricane claim. Bear in mind, however, that often regardless of the attorney handling your hurricane claim, litigation may be a necessary and indispensable part of the process.