A home fire can wreak havoc on your life within the blink of an eye. According to data published by the Department of Homeland Security, a home fire can go from minor to life-threatening within two minutes, and flames can consume an entire house in less than five minutes. A small grease fire or a fire sparked by faulty wiring can quickly become a devastating event that derails your entire life. Valuables and a place to call home are not the only things lost after a house fire—your sense of security is often engulfed along with your belongings, leaving emotional scars that may not fade for years to come. If you live in Miami and you are suffering because of a home fire, it’s crucial to know what steps you can take to recover afterward.
Safety comes first
The first thing to do after experiencing a home fire is to seek medical treatment. Even if you and your loved ones have not been burned by the flames themselves, you could still be harmed by smoke inhalation. Get evaluated by a medical professional and have your injuries assessed. Also, do not attempt to re-enter your home unless you are sure it is safe to do so—one false step on a fire-damaged stairway could have life-threatening consequences. Inquire with the fire department as to which areas of your burned home are safe to go into and explain that you would like to re-enter the home to document the damages.
Assess and document all damages
Document and record everything that happened during and after the fire. Take photos of damaged property if it is safe to do so, and keep a file with receipts related to the fire or its damage in it, i.e. medical bills for treatment sought after the fire and receipts for temporary housing. You can also request a copy of your home’s fire report through the local fire department or through the fire marshal. This document can prove useful when it comes time to speak to your insurance company about a claim for damages.
File a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company
File your claim with your fire insurance company as soon as possible. Use your documentation to provide evidence of the damages caused by the fire. Photos of damaged property can serve as proof of loss, and medical bills documenting treatment of your fire-related injuries can also help. If your homeowner’s insurance company refuses to pay, or offers a settlement you believe is too small to cover the damages caused by the fire, though, you will want to take your claim to the next level and speak to a local fire damage attorney in Miami.
Contact a law firm that specializes in fire damage
If your home has sustained property damage due to a fire, there is help available. Document all damages and contact a fire damage attorney in Miami so you can explore your options. The attorneys at Korin Law, P.A. have the experience and legal know-how to ensure you and your family are getting the compensation they deserve.