Hurricane Ida Damage Lawsuit

Hurricane Ida Damage Claims

Hurricane Ida slammed directly into the Louisiana coastline on August 29, 2021, leaving over a million Louisiana residents without power in New Orleans and the surrounding area and wreaking havoc across the state. The past several years have revealed a disturbing trend: hurricanes are becoming more frequent and more destructive due to human-induced climate change. As storms become more destructive, damage to property in areas affected by hurricanes like Ida becomes more severe. 

If you suffered property damage in Louisiana or elsewhere due to Hurricane Ida, then you could be entitled to recover compensation through your insurance coverage for accident-related expenses the storm caused. However, insurance companies almost certainly won’t make it easy for you. Insurance adjusters will use every tool in their arsenal to attempt to minimize or reduce your payout, so it is critical to have an attorney on your side throughout the claim process. 

At Mass Tort Alliance, we have the knowledge and expertise to review your claim, collect important evidence on your behalf, help you calculate your losses, and aggressively negotiate with the insurance company. Our goal is to help you seek the full amount of compensation you need to financially recover and rebuild. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your claim.

Overview of Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida is the second strongest hurricane to ever hit Louisiana, right after 2005’s devastating Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Ida, which initially made landfall on the afternoon of August 29, 2021, caused extreme flooding and extensive structural damage to homes and properties along its path through Louisiana. While the number of casualties remains low compared to Katrina, the damage to properties throughout the state has been devastating for many Louisiana residents. 

Hurricane Ida caused property damage across coastal towns and cities in Louisiana, including Houma, Golden Meadow, Grand Isle, LaPlace, Galliano, and others. Houma experienced some of the most severe damage, and many residents’ homes were demolished or damaged. Homes in the Galliano area also suffered severe damage. In Jefferson Parish, many homes lost their roofs due to Ida’s powerful winds. 

New Orleans was not spared either. French Quarter homes and properties were damaged in the storm, and almost the entire city was without power, leaving over one million Louisiana residents in the dark. Though most levees in the New Orleans area held, there were multiple reports of water spilling over the top of some of the smaller ones, creating flooding which affected homes and businesses in certain coastal communities. 

Hurricane Ida generated some of the most severe property damage across the state of Louisiana since Katrina, particularly in coastal areas. While some homes and other properties were damaged by flooding, Ida’s 150 mph winds may have caused the most damage, ripping roofs off of homes, businesses, and even hospitals. 

In the wake of Ida’s destruction, many property owners will be wondering how they are going to cover the cost of home repairs, and in some cases, rebuilding. Many homeowners will turn to their homeowner’s insurance policy and their flood insurance policy to help pay for damages caused by the storm. 

What to Do After the Storm

As you return to your property and begin to assess the damage, there are some important things you should consider and actions to take or refrain from taking: 

  • Gather photo and video evidence: Take photos and videos of all the damage as soon as possible. It is important to have a visual record of the damage your property sustained, which can serve as irrefutable evidence of what occurred. You’ll need this when you are negotiating with the insurance company. 
  • DO perform temporary, essential repairs: Once you’ve gathered the necessary photo and video evidence, make any repairs that are absolutely essential to prevent further damage from occurring. Keep receipts and invoices for the building materials you use so you can prove that repairs were completed after the property damage occurred. 
  • DON’T make permanent repairs: Refrain from performing any permanent repairs on your property until your insurance adjuster gives the go-ahead. 
  • Additional Living Expenses: Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if you qualify for ALE, or Additional Living Expenses. Many homeowner’s policies provide coverage for living expenses that you may have incurred as a result of not being able to reside at your property due to damage. ALE will cover expenses that go beyond what you would normally spend if you were able to reside at your property. 
  • Know your storm deductible: Unfortunately, you must pay a certain amount for property damage repairs out of pocket before your insurance will step in and provide coverage. Deductibles typically vary from two percent to five percent of your policy limit. So if your home is insured for $100,000, and your storm deductible was five percent, you would need to cover the first $5,000 in order to meet your deductible. 
  • File a claim with your homeowner’s insurance policy: It is best to do this as soon as possible, so that you don’t have to wait in line behind a bunch of other people who have also filed claims. It’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney before filing to ensure that you have all the correct documentation and that you have properly calculated your damages. For more information on what to expect when you file a property damage claim in Louisiana, click here. 
  • Flood insurance: Remember that homeowner’s insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage in Louisiana, so if your property has sustained flood damage, then you will need to file a separate claim with your flood insurance agency. A majority of damage storms cause comes from flooding, so it’s good to have flood coverage if you live in coastal Louisiana or any area that is prone to flooding.
  • The aftermath of a storm like Hurricane Ida can be overwhelming for anyone who has sustained property damage as a result of the storm, particularly when the cost of repairs promises to be high. Consulting with an experienced property damage attorney can help ease that burden.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer

There are many reasons why hiring and consulting with a hurricane damage attorney may benefit your claim. An attorney will have the knowledge and resources to evaluate your claim, quickly gather and preserve vital evidence to support it, and calculate the damages that you are entitled to recover. 

One of the most important reasons to consult an attorney is so that you have a seasoned advocate fighting your corner when you go toe-to-toe with the insurance company. 

It’s important to remember that insurance companies aren’t exactly your friend. Even though they should be loyal to their policyholders, insurance companies are chiefly loyal to their shareholders. As “for-profit entities,” insurance companies are in the business of minimizing or outright denying legitimate claims for compensation brought by the people who pay them for coverage. 

Insurance adjusters are trained to use a variety of tactics to try and reduce the amount of damages you can recover. In some instances, they may offer a low-ball settlement right off the bat that seems generous at the outset, but in reality, is much less than you actually need and are entitled to. Or, they may attempt to use other tactics to try and reduce your payout. 

Ultimately, going up against an insurance adjuster on your own can be challenging and intimidating. If you aren’t familiar with the tactics they use to reduce or deny claims, then you may find yourself having to pay for certain damages out of pocket that should have been covered under your policy. 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to consult an attorney to advise you throughout the claim process. An attorney can also negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Attorneys have an intimate knowledge of the tactics that insurance adjusters use to try and minimize payments. An attorney will know how to subvert those tactics and aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve.

Contact a Hurricane Damage Attorney

At Mass Tort Alliance, our team of experienced property damage attorneys has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the insurance company and successfully subvert any tactics they may use to try and minimize the payout that you deserve. You purchased coverage with the insurance company and are therefore entitled to receive compensation for property damage that is covered by your policy. 

Insurance companies must abide by strict guidelines. Our attorneys have the knowledge and discernment to ensure that the insurance companies are following Louisiana’s rules and regulations with regard to your claim. 

If you have sustained property damage due to Hurricane Ida, then don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the Mass Tort Alliance dedicated property damage attorneys as soon as possible. We can provide you with legal advice, help you ensure you have all of the correct documentation you need to file your claim, assist you in determining your deductible and calculating damages, and work tirelessly to seek a fair settlement on your behalf. 

Our team is here for you and all of your legal needs as you navigate the claim process. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.