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New Orleans Hurricane Lawyer

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Looking for a Hurricane Attorney in New Orleans, LA?

When you’re rebuilding after a natural disaster, it can be hard to know where to start. And if you’re struggling to get payment from your insurance company on top of everything else, things can quickly get overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything alone; hiring an experienced hurricane attorney can make the whole claims process go much more smoothly and effectively so you can move on with your life.

Our law office has been helping clients in New Orleans, LA for decades with their hurricane damage claims, and we are always happy to provide a free consultation if you need help.

How Blaine Can Help With Your Hurricane Claim

You have plenty of choices when it comes to getting help with a hurricane insurance claim. But if you want results that you’ll be happy with, it’s vital that you choose the best attorney for your needs and personality. Do you want a flashy law firm from out of town, for instance, or is it more important to you that you receive personalized service from a local attorney?

Only you can decide which lawyer will best suit your needs, but here are some reasons why lots of local people choose Blaine.

Our Phone Lines are Open 24/7

When you’re trying to sort out an insurance claim, the last thing you want is to settle for voicemail when you really need to speak to someone about your options.

Detail-Oriented Firm

As we always say, even the most minor details can make or break a case, so we help you make sure every “i” is dotted and “t” crossed.

Talk to Blaine

If you become one of our clients, we aren’t going to just hand you off to a junior associate attorney. Every client of our firm gets to speak with Mr. Barrilleaux.

The Fallout of Hurricane Ida

With winds reading up to 150 mph, Hurricane Ida was one of the most powerful storms in Louisiana’s history. Some estimates predict that Ida will have cost the country an unfathomable $95 billion when all is said and done.

Hurricane damage in New Orleans, LA was caused by a combination of factors, namely:

  • Storm surges which flood coastal towns as the sea rises
  • Heavy rains that flood inland areas
  • Powerful winds that can destroy structures as well as turning unsecured objects into projectiles

The city is still recovering from the storm, which left thousands homeless or out of work. Hurricane Ida destroyed both personal and city property:

  • Ripping roofs off buildings and leveling homes and businesses
  • Causing severe flooding
  • Uprooting trees
  • Ripping open sewage lines
  • Destroying power transformers

Thousands in New Orleans were left without power, running water, cell phone service, or access to 911 responders. Although most vital services have been restored, many are still homeless or facing costly repairs that they won’t be able to afford without a settlement from an insurance claim.

The loss of work, decreased tourism industry, and travel disruption that Hurricane Ida caused make it that much more difficult for residents to get back on their feet. Over 650,000 Louisiana residents have filed FEMA claims so far, with several thousand more expected.

Between governmental and private organizations that are pitching in to provide assistance for the thousands who need it, New Orleans, LA continues to heal and will bounce back stronger than before. Meanwhile, those with insurance are filing insurance claims (alone or with the help of a knowledgeable hurricane attorney) to cover the costs of hurricane damage so they can rebuild.

What Do I Do When I Have Hurricane Damage?

If your property in New Orleans, LA has hurricane damage from Hurricane Ida or another tropical storm, there are a few things you should do. Of course, every situation is a little different, so you’ll have to use your discretion as to how you proceed. But generally speaking, it’s a good idea to follow the steps below in order to minimize costs, streamline the insurance claim process, and increase your chances of recovering all of your damages whether or not you hire a hurricane attorney.

Of course, the heavy rains and powerful winds during a hurricane are incredibly dangerous, and you’ll need to seek cover until the storm is over, no matter how worried you are about your property. But it’s easy to underestimate the safety issues that arise after a hurricane, like:

  • Downed power lines
  • Damaged gas lines
  • Sharp or falling objects (including damaged trees or structures)
  • Floodwaters (which may contain sewage, bacteria, animals, or sharp objects)

Before surveying your property for damage, make sure that it has been declared safe to go back to the area, and keep an eye out for potential safety hazards.

One of the best things you can do for yourself before filing a hurricane damage insurance claim is documenting the damage you find right away.

  • Take clear pictures from multiple angles to clearly show the damage done
  • Take a written inventory of everything you find, from damage to missing property

As you might expect, wind and water damage are a couple of the most common types of hurricane damage, and they can affect both the interior and exterior of the structure. Make sure to be thorough when looking the property over so you don’t miss anything.

As soon as you’re able to, it’s a good idea to cover or otherwise secure your property to prevent further damage from the elements or vandals. This might mean:

  • Covering holes in the roof with tarps
  • Pumping water out of the home to prevent mold
  • Boarding up broken windows or doors

If you fail to take common sense precautions to protect your property from further damage after a hurricane, you might have trouble proving to your insurer what damage was caused by the storm and what happened afterwards. Even if you have an experienced hurricane attorney fighting your case by that point, the more you can do from the beginning to make your claim go smoothly, the better chance you have of seeing a quick and fair resolution.

In most cases, it makes sense to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage before enlisting the help of a hurricane attorney, unless you have reason to believe that the insurance company will refute your claim. The sooner you file your insurance claim the better, because:

  • The details are still fresh in your mind (and hopefully, you have ample photos and written records to back them up)
  • There’s less time for additional damage to occur
  • The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can rebuild with the damages you receive
  • There might be a time limit after which you can no longer file

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to file an insurance claim as soon as you have ample evidence to prove the damages you’ve incurred.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making money, which means they don’t always have their customers’ best interests at heart – of course, this means that they’ll often do whatever they can to minimize the amount they pay out in insurance settlements. While you can certainly file a storm insurance claim without the help of a hurricane attorney, we highly recommend seeking counsel as soon as you suspect your insurer is going to try to avoid paying all or some of what’s owed to you.

Some signs this might be the case include:

  • Disputing that you have coverage or what exactly your policy covers
  • Lowballing you or refusing to pay
  • Asking you to sign a release or sending a check that says “full payment”
  • Refusal to negotiate (or when negotiations reach an impasse)
  • Failing to pay within the 30-day timeframe required by law

The sooner you enlist the help of an experienced hurricane attorney, the better chance you have of reaching a fair settlement with your insurer. There are several laws in Louisiana that protect policyholders from insurance companies acting in bad faith, but if you don’t have experience with the law and you’re up against a large insurance company, the idea of navigating the situation can be overwhelming.

Hurricane Resources in New Orleans, LA

If the people of New Orleans, LA have proven anything over the years, it’s that they are a resilient bunch. When disasters like Hurricane Ida strike, the city pulls together like no other, taking care of one another and sharing vital resources. There are many hurricane resources available in New Orleans and throughout the state, such as this extensive list on the city’s website or the one put together by The New Orleans Musicians Clinic.

Below are some of the resources you might find most helpful if you’re recovering from hurricane damage in New Orleans, LA or the surrounding areas.

NOLA Ready is an emergency preparedness campaign put together by the city of New Orleans, LA. The organization connects the people of New Orleans with emergency alerts, preparedness guides, and recovery resources after crises like Hurricane Ida.

Louisiana 211 Statewide Network is a service that operates 24/7 throughout the state of Louisiana. Call them for information on health and human services available in your area. After hurricanes and other natural disasters, 211 can help you find resources like:

  • Basic needs: Food, shelter, and clothing
  • Health resources: Physical, mental, and emotional
  • Support to help you get back on your feet: Employment opportunities, childcare resources, elder care
  • And much more

211 services are also available for the hearing impared and non-English speakers.

LSNDC helps unhoused individuals in Louisiana find a variety of helpful resources, such as:

  • Temporary shelters
  • Food pantries
  • Permanent housing
  • Work opportunities

To find resources near you, simply visit their website or call their toll-free number.

Hurricane Ida has officially been declared a “Major Disaster” by the federal government, which gives qualified residents access to government assistance. It’s important to note that the aid will not cover any damages that are also covered by insurance, but FEMA provides a variety of help to victims of hurricane damage, from helping with costs of rebuilding to paying for reburials.

The GOHSEP website contains a wealth of information and resources from preparedness tips to follow before a storm, to resources that will come in handy after large storms like Ida. Just a few of the resources on the site include shelter information, roadside closure notifications, and emergency alerts.

Speak to a Hurricane Insurance Lawyer Right Now

If your property in New Orleans, LA has sustained damage from a hurricane and you’re struggling to get fair compensation from your insurance company, it’s time to hire a hurricane attorney who will go to bat for you. Contact us right now to schedule a consultation, absolutely free of charge.

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