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New York Property Damage Lawyers

New York City Property Damage Attorneys

Helping You Fight for the Coverage You Deserve

When a person or business suffers property damage, the road to financial recovery can seem steep. Insurance companies are known to exercise considerable creativity in their efforts to find reasons to pay reduced amounts on claims—or not pay the claims at all. Whether the damage you suffered comes from a fire or explosion, water/flooding, a ceiling collapse, or foundation and underpinning damage, our New York City property damage lawyers can fight for the coverage you need and deserve. 

Wherever you are in the five boroughs, call the NYC property damage attorneys at Sutton & Smyth, LLP to represent you with your insurance carrier. We’re available at (866) 935-1862 or right here online.

Let Us Help You Recover Your Entitled Compensation

Property damage can occur in various ways, including natural disasters, accidents, vandalism, or negligence. Regardless of the cause, when your property is damaged, the first thing you may think of is turning to your insurance company for help. While insurance is designed to provide financial protection, dealing with insurance claims can often be a challenging and frustrating process.

Insurance companies have their own interests in mind, which may not always align with yours. Their primary goal is to minimize payouts and protect their bottom line. This is where our Manhattan property damage lawyers step in to level the playing field.

If you're facing the unfortunate aftermath of property damage, whether you're an individual homeowner or a business owner, you've come to the right place. Sutton & Smyth, LLP is here to help you navigate the complexities of property damage claims and recover the compensation you deserve.

Common Reasons Property Damage Claims Are Denied

There are several reasons that property insurance carriers might deny a claim or reduce the payout total. 

The Adjuster’s Report

After an incident, an adjuster will inspect the property to assess the extent of the damage. This report is used to determine whether or not the policy covers the damage. The claim will be denied if the adjuster’s report determines that the damage is not covered. The problem is that the adjuster is far from an unbiased source. Even if they mean no ill intent, their bias is often skewed toward the insurance company. Putting our New York City property damage attorneys on your side can help balance the scales. 

Insufficient Documentation by the Property Owner

When filing an insurance claim, it is crucial to provide detailed documentation of the damage, including photographs, repair estimates, and any other relevant information. If there is not enough documentation provided, the insurance company may have difficulty determining the extent of the damage and whether or not your policy covers it. Sound legal counsel on the side of the property owner can help improve record-keeping and documentation throughout the process. 

An Alleged Failure to Mitigate

Property damage claims may be denied if the homeowner did not take sufficient measures to prevent or mitigate the damage. For example, if a homeowner fails to fix a leaky roof that ultimately causes water damage, the insurance company may deny the claim due to negligence. Similarly, if a homeowner fails to take appropriate steps to protect their property during a natural disaster, such as failing to board up windows or secure outdoor items, the insurance company may also deny the claim. 

Policy Exclusions

Insurance policies are meticulously crafted documents outlining what is covered and what is not. These exclusions often include specific events or types of damage that the policy does not cover. For instance, many policies exclude coverage for damage caused by floods, earthquakes, or gradual wear and tear over time. If the damage falls under one of these excluded categories, the claim is likely to be denied.

Failure to Maintain Coverage

Insurance policies are only effective when they are actively maintained, typically through regular premium payments. If a policy lapses due to non-payment or is not renewed, the coverage ceases to exist. Consequently, any claims made during this period are likely to be denied as there is no active policy in place to provide coverage.

Late Notification

Timely reporting of damage is crucial in the insurance process. Insurance companies require policyholders to report incidents promptly after they occur. This allows for a timely investigation and assessment of the damage. If the policyholder fails to report the damage within the specified timeframe, the insurance company may deny the claim, citing the lack of prompt notification.

Misrepresentation or Fraud

Honesty and transparency are paramount when filing an insurance claim. If the insurance company discovers that the policyholder misrepresented information or committed fraud during the claims process, the claim is likely to be denied. Misrepresentation can include providing false information about the cause or extent of the damage, while fraud involves intentionally deceiving the insurance company for personal gain.

Pre-existing Damage

Insurance policies are designed to cover sudden and unforeseen events, not pre-existing conditions. If the damage existed before the policy came into effect or before a covered event occurred, it is considered pre-existing and may not be covered. Insurers typically conduct investigations to determine the timeline of the damage and whether it occurred before or after the policy took effect.

Policy Limitations

Insurance policies often have coverage limits and deductibles that define the extent of coverage provided. If the damage exceeds these limits or falls below the deductible threshold, the claim may be partially or entirely denied. Policyholders should review their policy documents to understand these limitations and ensure they have adequate coverage for potential losses.

Negligence or Intentional Acts

Insurance is designed to protect against unforeseen events and accidents, not deliberate or negligent actions. If the damage is caused by the policyholder's negligence or intentional acts, such as improper maintenance or intentional destruction of property, it may not be covered by insurance. The insurance company may deny the claim on the grounds that the damage resulted from actions within the policyholder's control.

Disputed Cause of Damage

Sometimes, there is disagreement between the policyholder and the insurance company regarding the cause or extent of the damage. This could stem from differing assessments by adjusters, conflicting expert opinions, or ambiguity in the policy language. In such cases, the claim may be denied until the dispute is resolved through further investigation, mediation, or legal proceedings. Resolving the underlying cause of the dispute is essential to determining whether the claim is valid and should be covered by insurance.

Our NYC property damage lawyers at Sutton & Smyth, LLP will work with you to demonstrate that you took the steps to prevent and mitigate damage that a reasonable person would have under the circumstances. 

What Types of Damages Can I Recover For a Property Damage Claim?

When it comes to property damage claims, it's important to understand the types of compensation you may be able to recover for damage to your real property (i.e., land, structures, etc.) and personal property. Some of the most common include repair or replacement costs for damaged property, loss of use or enjoyment of the property, and any additional expenses that arise due to the damage. 

These damages can be awarded based on a variety of factors, including the severity of the damage, the impact it has on your daily life, and any expenses you incur as a result. With the right legal representation and a thorough understanding of your rights and options, you can work towards recovering the damages you are entitled to and getting your property back to its pre-damaged state.

What is the Property Damages Claims Process?

The process of filing a property damage claim in New York typically involves the following steps:

  1. Report the Damage: Notify your insurance company of the property damage as soon as possible. Provide them with all necessary details, including photographs and documents.
  2. Claim Evaluation: Your insurer will assign an adjuster to assess the extent of the damage and determine the coverage.
  3. Review of Policy: We will carefully review your insurance policy to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.
  4. Negotiation: Our experienced attorneys will negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.
  5. Litigation, if Necessary: In cases where insurers refuse to provide adequate compensation, we are prepared to take your case to court and fight for your rights.

Tell Us About Your Case in a Free Consultation

Sutton & Smyth, LLP believes that everyone deserves justice. Taking on the insurance industry is not for the faint of heart, and your property damage attorney must be determined to bring the legal fight on even the smallest of details. You paid your premiums, now you deserve coverage. We’re going to fight hard to get the settlement you’re counting on. 

Our mission at Sutton & Smyth, LLP is to maximize the compensation you receive for your property damage. We understand that property damage can result in not only physical but also emotional and financial distress. Our Manhattan property damage lawyers are dedicated to making the process as smooth as possible for you, allowing you to focus on rebuilding your life.

Call Sutton & Smyth, LLP at (866) 935-1862 or contact us online today to set up a free consultation.

Our Satisfied Clients

Read What They Say About Us
  • “Highly recommend! Thank you!”
    “Daniel was very knowledgeable, super attentive, and quick to inform me throughout the entire process.”
    - Samantha S.
  • “I would highly recommend this law firm.”
    “He continuously updated me throughout the entire process and answered all my questions.”
    - A. L.
  • “Thank you so much for listening to us when no one else would.”
    “Leigh Sutton & Daniel Smyth made sure that his voice was heard and he was compensated to the max!”
    - Mari K.
  • “I always felt like I was in great hands.”
    “My experience working with Dan was working with someone transparent, helpful, and consistent, and I'm really happy I met him when I did.”
    - Erin R.
  • “Obtained better than expected results on all cases referred...”
    “I am an attorney that has referred a number of sensitive cases to the attorneys at Sutton & Smyth, LLP.”
    - Michael L.
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    - Kelly P.

REcent Case Victories

Our top priority is to devise customized legal strategies that are tailored to the unique legal needs of our clients, no matter how simple or complicated their situations might be.

  • $1.7 Million Property Damage Due to Fire
  • $775K Motorcycle Accident
  • $750K Ceiling Collapse in Rental Apartment
  • $585K Bicycle Accident Involving Taxi
  • $485K Sidewalk Trip & Fall
  • Local, Compassionate, Native New Yorkers
    We work with you directly and individually towards your best possible outcome.
  • We Prioritize Your Case
    We want you to see the compensation you deserve and we don't make you wait for it.

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