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Florida Residents Suffer Panhandle Wildfires

The Florida Panhandle wildfires recently torched thousands of acres near Panama City. Firefighters continued their attempts to quell the fires as they spread to cover three separate counties. Hurricane Michael left enough dry debris on the ground to cause the fires to spread at such a speed that a state of emergency had to be put in place. With the evacuation of nearly 1,100 homes, many can expect to return to their share of damage. Even though families were evacuated to safer areas, the fire damage they may return to will prove to be a disaster in itself. If your home was evacuated due to the Pandhandle Wildfires, Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh PLLC can help you get the wheels in motion for recovery.

Chipola Complex Update

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — This morning, the Florida Forest Service (FFS) Blue Incident Management Team (IMT) confirmed that significant rainfall has continued to improve conditions for the Chipola Complex, which encompasses three wildfires. The Blue IMT will begin transitioning the incident back to the FFS Chipola Forestry Center and monitor any new activity.

Bertha Swamp Road Fire:

The Bertha Swamp Road Fire, located in Gulf, Bay, and Calhoun counties, is estimated at 33,131 acres and is now 40% contained.

Adkins Avenue Fire:

The Adkins Avenue Fire, located in Bay County, is 875 acres and is 95% contained.

Star Ave Fire:

The Star Ave Fire, located in Bay County, is 197 acres and is 95% contained.

Currently, there are nearly 70 wildfires burning more than 36,000 acres throughout Florida. It is important for residents to use extreme caution and remain aware of current wildfire activity.

Should I Get a Lawyer When I File a Fire Damage Claim?

Yes, go ahead and contact us today so that you can go into this process with good legal representation on your side. You should especially give us a call today if you are facing any complications while filing your claim, if your claim has been ignored, or if your claim has been denied. We will fight for your compensation whether your fire damage claim is new, pending, or denied.

What are Major Concerns with Fire Damage Claims?

Contact us today if you have questions regarding any of the following concerns:

  • Smoke and ash damage
  • Electrical fires
  • Gas leaks
  • Electrical equipment
  • Defective wiring
  • Smoking

How Can a Lawyer Help Me With a Fire Damage Claim?

  • We can help you assess your home or business to make sure you are including the correct amount of damage in your claim
  • We can make sure you are compensated for any temporary living expenses should you need to relocate your family
  • We will go after the maximum financial recovery for the damage
  • We can figure out exactly who is responsible for specific repairs based on your homeowner’s association or condominium association, if that applies to you
  • We can help you find hidden damage that can lead to mold
  • We can identify incorrect repair methods
  • We can help you reopen a claim if new damage is found after the claim has been settled

Tips for Filing a Fire Damage Claim

  • Consider asking for an advanced payment. It is routine for people to do this, especially if they have had to immediately relocate their families to another location or hotel. This early payment can help you avoid paying out of pocket for those immediate expenses you were never expecting to have. This money could be used to pay for food or replacement clothing that you and your family may need.
  • Document your losses. Make a running list and continue to update it as something new comes to mind. You may be in shock for the first few days, so do not be surprised if you realize major things that need to be added to the list a week later. Take pictures of what you can.
  • File your claim quickly. The faster you file your claim, the more urgent your message becomes. If you wait too long, the insurance company will use that wait time to question why you did not file the claim immediately.
  • Get estimates of the repairs. The insurance company will eventually send out their own adjuster to inspect the damage, but you should also hire your own inspectors so that you have a baseline to compare the insurance company’s estimate. This is one of the best ways to know if the company is trying to take advantage of you or not.
  • Continue paying your insurance premiums. Now is not the time to stop paying the premiums. You do not need additional conflict added to your claim, especially if you are struggling with getting the company to cover the damage.

Contact a Trusted Lawyer Today

You have already been through the ringer with your fire experience. Do not take on the task of going against an insurance company alone when you do not have to. Our mission is to provide legal representation for individuals who have been injured or experienced loss in the event of a fire. We are ready to provide exceptional legal service and advocate for the rights of our clients. Schedule a free, no obligation strategy session today to see how we can help you and your family. Contact us now at (561) 295-5825.

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