If your property has been affected and insurers have not behaved as expected, you may be entitled to substantial damages.
The Dallas Tornado
On October 21, 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 16 counties after a tornado hit the Dallas area. The Governor reassured Texans that the state would “do everything it can to assist those affected by these horrific storms.”
The truth, however, is never as reassuring as the words of politicians. Gov. Abbott may have the best of intentions, but the schools, hospitals, and commercial properties affected may suffer terrible losses on account of insurers’ denial of claims.
As the tornado ripped buildings apart in Dallas, caused heavy damage in Richardson, and left thousands of Texans without power, debris covered vast areas in North Texas, and numerous homes were destroyed, and commercial and school buildings were severely damaged. The disaster didn’t only hit Texas; it also impacted Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Collapsed roofs and shattered windows were not an uncommon sight after the tornado. In fact, classes were canceled, in some cases schools closed permanently, on account of, in some cases, massive damage to eight Dallas schools including Thomas Jefferson High School, Cary Middle School, Walnut Hill Elementary, Hillcrest High School, Ben Franklin Middle School, Medrano Middle School, Kramer Elementary, and Joe May Elementary.
Texas Tornado Insurance Lawsuits
Over the last decade, numerous tornadoes and hurricanes have hit Texas every single year, causing great devastation from Granbury, Fort Worth, Westminster, Garden City, and Galveston to Beaumont, Houston, Mount Selman, Cisco, Cameron, and Pampa.
Besides investigating tornado-related insurance claims, our firm sues general contractors over construction defects on behalf of schools, commercial property owners, hospitals, retirement communities, and other facilities. After many years of analyzing the causes of damage to different properties, our construction experts are in an ideal position to evaluate the damage caused by the recent Texas tornado. We also sue insurers for bad faith on a regular basis, and we know all too well the strategies they use to avoid paying claims.
We are monitoring the behavior of the following insurance companies in connection with claims relating to the October tornado in Dallas, Texas:
- Lexington Insurance
- Union Standard
- Liberty Mutual
- Tokio Marine
All of the insurers mentioned above have a track record of delaying and denying claim payment, and they have all faced bad faith lawsuits.
So if you have a challenge with Tokio Marine, Lexington, AIG, Travelers, Union Standard, Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Chubb, or Philadelphia, we want to hear from you.
Tornadoes can destroy whole towns, causing major damage to schools, hospitals, homes, and a variety of commercial buildings. In Texas, homeowners, school districts, and business owners are generally insured against tornado damage.
Tornadoes can cause serious damage to buildings, including:
- Windows and window systems
- Collapsing roofs and breached roofing systems
- Interior damage including water leakages
- Power and water systems
After a tornado, expensive repairs are usually needed virtually everywhere, from school buildings to nursing homes, hospitals, and retirement communities.
Businesses can lose money and value as they remain shut down during rebuilding. Business interruption and other insurance are expected to cover all of these expenses, but insurers have a pattern of dodging tornado claim payments.
Following a tornado, Texas insurers have a duty to assist policyholders as they rebuild and repair their properties. Unfortunately, major insurers have developed tactics to avoid paying the sometimes billions of dollars in claims that are often associated with a tornado.
Insurance companies routinely deny valid claims, make unreasonably low offers, or indefinitely delay payments. This means that on top of the stress of having their property destroyed, policyholders have to deal with dishonest insurers.
It is important to refrain from accepting any settlement from insurers without first consulting with an attorney experienced with insurance coverage issues and bad faith. If you accept an initial offer, you may be missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, sometimes millions.
Besides causing observable damage, like collapsed roofs, strong winds can harm buildings in more subtle ways, making them more prone to serious damage in the future. In a large school building, for example, all the windows may be affected, causing geometric increases in utility bills as well as leakage, and this is considered a compensable loss. Still, insurers systematically try to avoid fulfilling this type of obligation.
Insurance Bad Faith in Texas
The Texas Insurance Code establishes that the following behaviors constitute bad faith:
- Purposefully underpaying a claim
- Failing to appropriately investigate a claim
- Wrongfully denying a claim
- Failing to include damaged property in a payment
- Disregarding expert recommendations
If you believe your insurer is acting in bad faith, our Dallas tornado claims lawyers can likely help in negotiations or, when necessary, file a bulletproof bad faith lawsuit. Our attorneys and investigators are uniquely able to gather and package the physical evidence and expert statements needed to establish the scope of the damage and hold bad faith insurers accountable.
Gravely insurance coverage and bad faith lawyers have an extensive track record of aggressive representation for wronged policyholders all the way through trial. For schools, HOAs, commercial buildings, and other substantial properties, our Texas tornado insurance lawyers are prepared to evaluate your case free of charge, to analyze your coverage as well as physical and financial losses to determine whether your insurer is acting in bad faith. We have a track record of securing favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients in connection with tornado and hurricane damage.
Contact Gravely Law today for a complimentary consultation. If we agree to take your case (and you want us to do so), you will not have to pay a cent unless we recover damages on your behalf as our firm is commercial contingency-based. We work in all Texas cities.