What To Do If Property Damage Involves Neighboring Property
Property damage to your home or business can occur due to a wide variety of reasons. Acts of nature such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and fires can cause devastating damage to buildings and surrounding areas. So, too, can human-caused incidents such as arson or vandalism. Generally, when these issues happen to one’s property, it is handled by their insurer as a first-party insurance claim.
What happens, though, when your property is damaged by something from another person’s property? A fallen tree from a next door neighbor’s yard for example, a hose left running that caused water damage to your property, or a firecracker that lands in your yard and sparks a fire. In these situations, there may be liability on the other person’s part and your insurance company will want to know more about it.
If the damage occurred due to a neighbor’s negligence, the claim can be filed against that property owner, and their property insurer may provide liability coverage in this circumstance. However, if the other party does not have liability insurance to address the claim, they could be required to pay out of pocket. In these cases, your insurer may seek reimbursement through a legal process known as subrogation, or you may proceed with your own legal action, in small claims court or another appropriate forum.
Steps to Take After Damaged Caused by a Neighbor’s Property
If your property was damaged due to anything related to a neighbor’s property, your first step is to identify and document all damage. Your property insurance company will want to know as much as possible, as soon as possible. This includes any information about how the damage was caused, or where it originated. Usually, in the event of a major storm that damages property, this is a simple conclusion for homeowners and insurers to draw. When an issue stems from neighboring property, the answer is not always clear, and can be subject to dispute from the neighbor and their insurance company as well. The more information you can gather – and quickly – the better.
What to Do if You Might be Liable for a Neighbor’s Property Damage
If, for example, a tree fell in your yard and broke your neighbors’ fence, you might be responsible if the tree or branch collapsed due to your own negligence. Other issues can arise where something accidental or negligent led to some type of damage on a neighbor’s property. In these cases, you still want to document as much as you can and contact your insurance company. Your insurer may offer “defense and coverage” under your policy – and if they do, you should make sure they do their part in addressing the damage. Your policy will normally have some level of liability protection that can safeguard you in these situations.
In any type of situation involving property damage between neighbors, it will benefit you to explore all options with your insurance company. If you run into problems, or feel they aren’t paying what they should under the policy, it helps to consult a Florida property damage attorney with experience in this area.
Our Daytona, Florida Property Damage Attorneys Can Help If Your Property Was Damaged by Neighboring Property
Suffering through property damage and the insurance claim process is difficult enough on its own. When those problems involve a next-door neighbor, things get even more complex. The Daytona property damage insurance attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., have years of experience working with Florida clients in your situation to get the issues resolved and find a satisfactory resolution through your insurer. To learn more, call our Daytona law offices today at 386-252-5170, or schedule a consultation with our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online.