How Can a Florida Hurricane Damage Lawyer Help in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ian?
Strong, slow-moving storms like Hurricane Ian cause miles of sustained damage. Surviving means more than weathering the storm, it means rebuilding afterward. To do that, Floridians and other Gulf Coast residents need the funds they’re owed from insurance companies and compensation for negligent damages that may have made a bad disaster worse.
Residents of the Gulf Coast, the Florida Keys, and the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. are familiar with the kind of devastation hurricanes can cause. Despite their precautions, no amount of preparedness can exempt homes and businesses from the ravages of massive storms like hurricanes.
When the clouds clear, it is critical to secure the resources you need to recuperate as quickly as possible. Having an attorney on your side can help streamline and expedite vital transactions because we do the paperwork while you pick up the pieces.
The lawyers at Osborne & Francis are experienced hurricane claim attorneys located in Orlando and Boca Raton. We too have had to clean up our homes and offices after a storm, all while working to get our livelihoods and families back on track. Reach out to us as soon as possible online or by calling (561) 293-2600. We’ve achieved historic civil rights and personal injury results, and we are ready to help you recover after Hurricane Ian.
What Kind of Settlement Can a Florida Hurricane Lawyer Help You Secure?
Here are the ways an attorney experienced in hurricane and storm damage cases may help your family recover:
- Insurance claims: Hurricane damages claims are high-stakes and often stressful for those who handle them without legal representation. Having a lawyer by your side during communications with insurance companies, and especially for insurance disputes, decreases your workload and greatly increases your chances of securing a meaningful settlement amount.
- Failures in storm response: Government and institutional oversights in hurricane response can be handled in class action cases. For example, nursing home failures during Hurricane Ida evacuations led to a group settlement for over 800 residents who were relocated to deplorable warehouse conditions during the storm.
- Negligence or bad faith: Negligence related to a hurricane could concern damage caused by apartments that were not up to code, and whose owners may be held liable for your losses. A “bad faith” action refers to dishonesty or fraud in a transaction, such as when insurance companies denied legitimate hurricane claims in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Your case results will depend on your unique circumstances. By hiring an attorney who can fully investigate your situation and pursue all available legal remedies, you maximize your potential resources to rebuild and move on.
You don’t have to deal with insurance representatives alone — contact Osborne & Francis attorneys at (561) 293-2600. Let us handle the paperwork so you can rebuild and restore your life in peace.
What Cities Were Damaged by Hurricane Ian?
Though communities are damaged all across Florida and South Carolina, the cities that suffered the most damage were those near the coast were those on the Gulf Coast where the storm landed: Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, and barrier islands like Pine and Sanibel Island. These areas now need assistance with:
- Wrongful death cases for those lost due to negligence during and after the storm, including delayed evacuation warnings that made it impossible for some individuals and families to leave their homes
- Securing storm relief funds in what is being called the costliest storm ever for the state of Florida
- Insurance negotiations for those with partial coverage who need to ensure they receive all they are eligible for, those whose legitimate claims are denied, and those who may see their insurance rates rise exorbitatntly or have their insurance cancelled
If you’ve suffered losses from this storm in any city or county along its path of destruction, you deserve all the available help you’re entitled to. For example, those with no flood insurance may still make wind damages claims that could help save your home or secure your future housing. Contact an experienced Florida hurricane lawyer to discuss your options.
How Damaging Are Category 5 Hurricanes?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hurricane categories are designated based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The following 1-5 categories measure sustained wind speeds at miles per hour (mph). They do not account for other damaging factors like rainfall flooding, storm surge, or potential tornadoes.
Here are common damages that result from the five types of hurricanes:
- Category 1 (74-95 mph) — Moderate Damage
- Roof, shingle tiles, vinyl siding, and gutters may be damaged
- Large tree branches will likely snap and shallow-rooted trees may topple
- Power lines and poles will likely be damaged, resulting in potentially days-long power outages
- Category 2 (96-110 mph) — Extensive Damage
- Major siding and roof damage to well-constructed homes
- Shallowly rooted trees may snap or be uprooted, blocking roads
- An expectation of near-total power loss with outages that could last several days or weeks
- Category 3 (111-129 mph) — Devastating Damage
- Major structural damage to homes including the removal of roof decking and gable ends
- Felled trees will block numerous roads and possibly damage buildings or vehicles
- Critical infrastructures like electricity and water may be unavailable for several days or weeks
- Category 4 (130-156 mph) — Catastrophic Damage
- Loss of roof structure and/or exterior walls for homes
- Most trees and power poles will be downed for long periods of time
- Power outages could last weeks or months, especially to remote island or key communities which may become uninhabitable
- Category 5 (157 mph or higher) — Extensive Catastrophic Damage
- A high percentage of homes will be destroyed, meaning wall collapses and total roof failures
- Uprooted trees and downed power poles will isolate residential areas, delaying or preventing any emergency care needed
- Power outages will last for weeks or possibly months and most of the area will be uninhabitable during that time
Hurricanes that are Category 3 or higher are considered major storms. The eye of Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa as a strong Category 4 while still gaining strength. This is the same level at the time of landfall as the devastating Hurricane Charley in 2004 — both hit land in excess of 150 mph.
For hurricane recovery and wrongful death claims in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, your neighboring attorneys at Osborne & Francis are here to help you through these dark times.
Contact Experienced Florida Hurricane Attorneys
Floridians and others who live in the frequent path of hurricanes know how to stay safe and survive most storms. That being said, some hurricanes are so destructive that no amount of prevention will stop the damage from occurring. That is why homes and businesses are insured, and why civic structures are in place to provide rescue workers, shelters, and food and medical support during and immediately following a storm.
However, the long-term aftermath of a hurricane often involves frustrating and sometimes disastrous delays in insurance payouts. Insufficient support could leave people homeless or force them from their communities. Some lives are lost during storms and in the ensuing chaotic shuffle to bring neighborhoods back online. All of these issues can be helped with an experienced attorney by your side.
Reach out to the Orlando or Boca Raton offices of Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600 as soon as possible. Whether you’re dealing with property damage or the loss of a family member due to improper storm response, we are here to help defend your rights and explore your legal options.