Theft & Vandalism Attorneys
Did Someone Steal or Damage Your Property?
Few things are more invasive than having your personal property stolen or intentionally damaged by others. Not only does loss due to theft or vandalism cause financial damage, but also a loss of sentiments you may never be able to fully replace. Victims of these crimes are typically insured from loss under their property insurance but, as with many agreements, there are bound to be disputes in some instances.
If you’ve experienced damage to your property due to theft or vandalism and your insurance company has underpaid or denied compensation of your claim, contact one of our experienced attorneys to evaluate your case. The consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless we secure a successful result for you.
You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Property loss or damage
- Additional living expense due to property loss or damage
- Loss or damage to personal belongings
- Vehicle loss or damage
Vandalism Insurance Claims — What You Should Know
No one’s home or private property should ever be subjected to an act of vandalism. We understand how frightened and vulnerable the action can leave you feeling in the very environment where you should feel safe and secure. The last thing you want to worry about is whether your insurance claim will be accepted or not. Homeowners should not be responsible for repairing the damage — thankfully, most homeowner’s and commercial insurance policies provide coverage for it. However, before you receive a settlement, you may have to endure a time-consuming struggle with your insurance provider to get what you need.
What is Considered Vandalism?
Vandalism can include a wide variety of criminal behavior and generally involves any deliberate action with the malicious intent of damaging or defacing another individual’s property. Vandalism is considered a crime due to the threat it can pose to society. The penalties upon being convicted for vandalism may be a fine, jail sentence, an order to pay for repairs, or all three.
Some examples of vandalism are:
- “Egging” someone’s property
- Breaking lights or windows
- Defacing public property with graffiti
- Tire slashing
- Knocking down street signs
- Smashing mailboxes
- Cutting trees or landscape
What Should You Do Following a Vandalism Event?
If you have suffered vandalism or theft damage, you should immediately:
- Contact local authorities and file a police report
- Report the incident to your insurance provider (some policies have strict notice requirements, so do not delay)
- Make a summary list of everything stolen and/or vandalized
- Document all damage with photographs and video (do not clean up or tamper with the vandalized area/evidence)
- Collect receipts and other evidence of the stolen items’ value
Was Your Vandalism Claim Denied?
If you fail to do any of the points mentioned above when filing an insurance claim, there is a strong possibility that your claim will be rejected. Thus, it is very important to document as much evidence as possible to further strengthen your claim. However, there are instances when you can do everything right and still have your claim denied or delayed in bad faith. After all, insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and although it is unfortunate, many of these companies are usually only interested in increasing their own revenue.
Many insurance companies may be hesitant to pay vandalism claims and make up excuses to avoid settling your claim. They may delay or flat-out refuse to pay valid claims violating the rights of their policyholders, which is grounds for civil litigation. If you receive an offer and believe it is an amount way below what your property and possessions are worth, carefully consider accepting it. The process of convincing your insurance provider to compensate you can be a struggle. If you are experiencing any bad faith tactics, it is important that you have an attorney on your side to fight this battle for you. Our attorneys have the skills and experience to help get you the compensation that is rightfully owed to you.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys, contact Potts Law Firm at (888) 420-1299.
We encourage you to contact one of our attorneys if you were the victim of vandalism or theft and are having issues with your insurer covering the damages. You should not have to deal with the strain of persuading your insurer on top of the stress you are currently going through from the attack on your property. Regardless of whether you have suffered minimal or monumental losses, you deserve full compensation for all losses covered by your insurance policy.
If you are unsure if you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your claim and fight for you.
Q:What Are Common Recoveries that Result from Insurance Litigation?
A successful claim against an insurance company can provide compensation for:
- Actual damages
- Interest from the date that you should have been paid
- Penalties (imposed on the insurer) under the Insurance Code for knowingly underpaying or denying a claim
- Attorney fees
Q:My Claim Was Denied, or Only Partial Repairs Were Given. What Do I Do Now?
If you’ve contacted your insurance company regarding an insurance claim and have been denied or underpaid, you should immediately:
- Document all conversations and interactions between you and your insurance provider/agent
- Keep a file of all documents/photos of damages so you can preserve evidence of your loss
- Contact an attorney
You may be entitled to more compensation than originally offered by your insurance company. With detailed claim information and a review of your policy documents, an attorney can determine if you have a case.
Q:Why Should I Seek Counsel from an Insurance Attorney?
Seeking counsel from an insurance attorney is essential when resolving an insurance dispute. Insurance attorneys possess the knowledge to interpret insurance contract language while also considering their knowledge of insurance laws. If you find yourself facing an insurance provider who’s promised coverage but has denied or underpaid your insurance claim, it is important to speak to an attorney who can help you understand your rights.
Q:What Are Common Disputes Policyholders Face When Filing a Theft & Vandalism Insurance Claim?
When filing a theft and vandalism claim, policyholders may experience some of the following issues with their insurance companies:
- Establishing ownership rights of stolen or destroyed property
- Insurers requiring receipts for proof of purchase of stolen or destroyed property
- Proving the residence was not vacant at the time of the loss
“They were able to complete it in a timely manner and were great at keeping me up to date with communication throughout the entire process. I highly recommend using this law firm if the need arises.”- Stephen P.
“Michael Bins has been extremely helpful in helping us to navigate a situation with an insurance claim on a commercial property. He’s gone above and beyond in moving our case toward a positive resolution that we’re satisfied with.”- Theo C.
“They know the law from every angle, dig deep, and will not accept anything less than what was asked in the original suit. The Potts team never backed down until the case was settled in full.”- Molly H.