Because of damage to the structure, the costs associated with daily living expenses, and the contents within the home, house fires can be a rather costly claim to insurance companies. What if a house fire wasn’t a costly claim? What if you could recover a majority of the money paid out to the insured? A house fire claim doesn’t have to be costly, IF from the beginning, the house fire is properly investigated by retaining appropriate parties.
To ensure the claim is properly investigated, having an attorney involved as early as possible is an excellent way to enhance subrogation recovery. Retaining an attorney from the beginning will protect you, as all communications are classified under the attorney-client privilege. Tortfeasors will not be able to access communications in the claims file between claim handlers, attorneys, and experts.
Early retention of appropriate parties, like an attorney and an investigation expert, allows them to communicate freely from the beginning of the claim investigation. Together, the attorney and expert can determine if potential at-fault parties need to be placed on notice, and provide an opportunity to investigate the scene or product before it is disturbed. In doing so, the determination made by the attorney and expert can prevent spoliation defenses being asserted by the at-fault parties.
The collaborative partnership between attorney and expert allows the team to determine the origin of the house fire, the cause of the house fire, and ultimately the subrogation potential. Because the attorney is involved from the beginning, he has a superior understanding of the facts of the loss – as opposed to getting involved in the claim afterfindings are established and a report is made. This early involvement strategy places the insurance company in a valuable position as the attorney-expert team can provide analysis and recommend the most economical option for advancement. As claims may advance, the team will recognize when a file should not advance, and must be closed for any number of reasons. For example, if the insured was ultimately the cause of the house fire.
Retaining an attorney from the beginning will protect you and ensure your communications are safe. In partnership, the attorney and the expert piece the facts together to provide a superior, more informed fire subrogation recommendation. Early involvement strategy makes the attorney mindful of potential issues that may arise in the future, so he can attack them with an appropriate defense. Getting your attorney involved from the beginning demonstrates the mindset of the insurance company, setting precedence to at-fault parties, which may lead to earlier settlements and avoiding costs associated with litigation. Don’t wait! Get the attorney and expert involved as soon as possible.