Helping You After Hurricane and Storm Damage

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What Steps Should You Take After a Hurricane Damages Your Home?

  • Cover up damaged property with tarps to prevent further damage

    Insurance companies are masters of finding any reason at all to deny your claim. If they can assert your property was further damaged after the storm, your claim could be undervalued, and you could be blamed for the damage.

  • Document everything following a hurricane

    Of course, you are devastated, and possibly even injured following a hurricane, but if there is any way possible, take photos of every part of your home, inside and out. Your photographs should clearly show the damage to your home and your possessions. Along with the photos, keep a carefully detailed written inventory of all the damage to your home.

  • Don’t wait to file your insurance claim

    It is important that you act quickly following the hurricane damage, as the insurance company could try to say that the damage to your home occurred later, rather than during the hurricane. In short, take nothing for granted, document everything, and have a strong legal advocate in your corner sooner, rather than later.

How the Hoffoss Devall Attorneys Can Help You Following a Hurricane

If your property sustains damage from a hurricane and you are finding it difficult to get your claim paid, it is imperative that you contact a Hoffoss Devall attorney immediately. Our hurricane insurance recovery attorneys will help you get the money you are entitled to, allowing you to begin to put the pieces of your life back together. We can help you maximize your recovery and you don’t pay a fee unless we win.

No matter how vigilant you are about protecting your property, having the proper insurance coverage, and documenting everything, your insurance company may try to either pay you much less than your losses or deny your claim altogether. It can be frustrating and disheartening to face such blatant bad faith on the part of an insurance company when you have done everything right. That being said, never give up because your insurance company has denied your claim, and never accept a lowball offer from your insurance company. The Hoffoss Devall attorneys are ready to help you through this difficult time. We absolutely understand the situation you find yourself in, and we have helped many Louisiana and Texas residents just like you get the money they need to put their lives back together.

The job of those at Hoffoss Devall is to help you seek equitable compensation under Louisiana and Texas laws for losses you sustain from a hurricane. We have a team of highly qualified, extremely determined attorneys who will fight for you and your loved ones. Our firm is based in Lake Charles, however, we accept cases throughout the Gulf Coast region and beyond. If you are first victimized by a hurricane, then are victimized yet again by an unscrupulous insurance company, we can help you. We believe in investing in the future of our clients and will go to any lengths necessary to protect you and encourage the insurance company to pay you what you deserve. To speak to a highly experienced legal professional who will help you “weather the storm,” contact Hoffoss Devall today.

people pushing a boat in a residential area during a flood

Hurricane and Storm Damage Insurance Lawsuits

A hurricane can be one of the most destructive forces in nature; homes—and entire communities—can be completely destroyed in a matter of hours. The loss of your home can be a devastating experience. You may believe that your homeowner’s insurance policy will be there for you should a disaster like this occur. Unfortunately, contrary to the deluge of insurance commercials we see that portray insurance companies as the friend who will be there for you in a crisis, all too often insurers try to deny your hurricane or storm damage claim. This means you could find yourself victimized twice—through no fault of your own.

You purchased homeowner’s insurance and faithfully paid your premiums, yet when the time comes to file a claim, many insurance companies deny claims or pay out as little as possible following a disaster like a hurricane. How would you recover from such a situation? If you find yourself in such an untenable situation—you have lost your home to a hurricane, yet your insurance company is practicing delay and deny tactics—you need a strong legal advocate in your corner. It can help to know that you can turn to Hoffoss Devall to obtain the justice you deserve. We will fight for you—for the loss of your home and other damages you have sustained as a result of the storm. In short, we fight for your future.

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Facts About Hurricanes

When a hurricane, with its strong winds and heavy rains, moves through a city, the aftermath can resemble a war zone. The roofs of homes are torn away, power lines are downed, trees uprooted, and businesses mangled. The extent of the damage is directly tied to the strength of the hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale explains the level of damage you can expect (as determined by the wind speed of the storm) at each of the five levels.

In addition to the devastating wind, hurricanes bring torrential rains that can easily drop from several inches to several feet of water in a very short period of time. The amount of rain has less to do with the strength of the storm, and everything to do with how fast the storm is moving. In addition to the destructive winds and rain, lightning and other weather elements can destroy cars, crack building foundations, and cause the death of those in the path of the storm.

Louisiana and Texas are no strangers to the devastation of hurricanes. In fact, some of the most devastating hurricanes in the United States have occurred in these states. Hurricane Katrina devastated the state of Louisiana (and other states) in 2005. Hurricane Ike hit Louisiana, Texas, and other states in 2008, and Hurricane Harvey caused immense damages in Louisiana, Texas, and several other states in 2017. Hurricane Katrina is considered the costliest hurricane in the history of the United States and is also responsible for 1,518 deaths. In terms of storm surge risk by state (by the number of single-family homes and reconstruction value), Louisiana and Texas rank second and third, after Florida.

Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, Cameron Parish, Louisiana, and Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana are all listed in the top eleven counties that were most frequently hit by hurricanes between 1960 and 2008. As you might expect, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey are listed as the top two most significant flood events by National Flood Insurance Program payouts. Even so, there were thousands of homeowners who did not receive compensation for the destruction of their home and their possessions.

Meet Your Attorneys

Lee Hoffoss - Attorney

Lee Hoffoss

T-Claude Devall - Attorney

T-Claude Devall

aerial view of a hurricane spiraling over the coast
Category 1 hurricanes will have wind gusts above 74 miles per hour. Shingles and roofs can be damaged, shallowly rooted trees uprooted, large tree branches snapped off, and power lines and poles potentially damaged, resulting in outages of power. Category 2 hurricanes can bring wind gusts as high as 96 miles per hour. At this level, entire roofs can be blown off, and you might expect major damage to home siding, trees, and power lines. Category 3 hurricanes will have wind gusts exceeding 111 miles per hour. Even deeply rooted trees can be uprooted, home roofs, siding, and gutters will be damaged, and downed power lines will almost certainly occur, knocking out electricity and water services.
aerial view of a hurricane spiraling over the coast
Category 4 hurricanes can have wind gusts that exceed 131 miles per hour. Few roofs can withstand this storm level, with even exterior walls being ripped apart. Most trees in the path of a Category 4 Hurricane will be snapped or uprooted, with many power poles downed in the area. At this level of damage, rescue workers can have a difficult time reaching those in residential areas.
aerial view of a hurricane spiraling over the coast
The most dangerous level of a hurricane is a Category 5 hurricane. Only three Category 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States, with Andrew being the most recent one in 1992. A Category Five Hurricane will destroy even the most solidly-built homes, causing wall collapse and roof failure. Street signs may be turned into deadly projectiles, and even the most deeply rooted trees can be ripped out.

What are the Five Categories of Hurricanes?

Categories 1 - 3

Category 1 hurricanes will have wind gusts above 74 miles per hour. Shingles and roofs can be damaged, shallowly rooted trees uprooted, large tree branches snapped off, and power lines and poles potentially damaged, resulting in outages of power. Category 2 hurricanes can bring wind gusts as high as 96 miles per hour. At this level, entire roofs can be blown off, and you might expect major damage to home siding, trees, and power lines. Category 3 hurricanes will have wind gusts exceeding 111 miles per hour. Even deeply rooted trees can be uprooted, home roofs, siding, and gutters will be damaged, and downed power lines will almost certainly occur, knocking out electricity and water services.

With wind gusts that can exceed 111 miles per hour, these storms can cause serious damage.

Category 4

Category 4 hurricanes can have wind gusts that exceed 131 miles per hour. Few roofs can withstand this storm level, with even exterior walls being ripped apart. Most trees in the path of a Category 4 Hurricane will be snapped or uprooted, with many power poles downed in the area. At this level of damage, rescue workers can have a difficult time reaching those in residential areas.

With wind gusts that exceed 131 miles per hour, these storms rip off roofs and pull trees from the ground.

Category 5

The most dangerous level of a hurricane is a Category 5 hurricane. Only three Category 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States, with Andrew being the most recent one in 1992. A Category Five Hurricane will destroy even the most solidly-built homes, causing wall collapse and roof failure. Street signs may be turned into deadly projectiles, and even the most deeply rooted trees can be ripped out.

The most dangerous level of a hurricane.

How Do You Prepare for a Potential Hurricane?

It is important that you are prepared for a hurricane if you live in any of the areas that are typically hit by these storms—which includes most of Louisiana and Texas. First of all, take a good look at your homeowner’s insurance policy. Determine what your policy covers. Generally speaking, homeowner’s insurance covers “windstorm” damage, however, flood insurance is sold separately.

This fact has allowed many insurance companies to dodge their responsibilities following a hurricane, as they assert the damage to your home was caused by the floodwaters rather than the wind. Check to see what your deductible is, in the event of hurricane damage. Make an entire photographic record of your home, both interior, and exterior. Take shots of each room, with closeups of important features. These photographs can be invaluable when you are trying to get your insurance company to pay for your damages.

It is also a good idea to have a “Readiness Plan,” which includes a basic disaster supply kit (flashlights, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, evacuation information, and enough food and water to last your family several days). Have arrangements in place for a place you can stay if necessary, whether with friends or family members. Have a communication plan in place that allows you to stay in touch with loved ones should a disaster strike.

If you know a hurricane is imminent, fill plastic bottles, bathtubs, and sinks with water, make sure you have critical medications for yourself and family members, and bring outdoor items inside when possible. If you have a multi-story home, move your valuables and furniture to higher floors when possible. Unplug your propane tanks and all small appliances. If you have sufficient time, you may want to sandbag doorways to help prevent flood damage.

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