What Is Contractor Negligence?
Contractor negligence occurs when a specific contractor or subcontractor fails to exercise the same level of care that a reasonably prudent professional in their line of work would use when providing services. If a party suffers damages due to a contractor's professional negligence, they may seek legal action to obtain compensation for their losses.
Contractor negligence can manifest in a multitude of ways, potentially affecting the contractor's agents, the occupants of the property, and the property itself.
A few common examples of contractor negligence include:
- Defective construction
- Inadequate supervision of workers
- Negligent selection of workers
- Cutting corners
- Reckless behavior
- Failure to follow safety procedures
- Failure to provide workers with safety equipment
- Failure to acquire necessary permits
Professionals working on construction projects must adhere to a standard of care, and when these standards are breached, legal action can be pursued. Construction issues can arise at any point during a project, and inexperienced general contractors are often responsible for rushing projects, substandard workmanship, and buildings that do not meet code requirements.
WHEN TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR CONTRACTOR NEGLIGENCE
Murray Law Group is dedicated to helping clients who have been affected by contractor negligence in construction projects. Pursuing a contractor negligence claim can be overwhelming. To protect your rights and your business throughout the process, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation who will guide you through the process and conduct an in-depth evaluation of your claim concerns. A skilled attorney can help you successfully navigate your construction negligence case, ensuring that you have the appropriate support and resources to achieve a favorable result.
Creating Positive Outcomes
WHAT TO DO IF YOU EXPERIENCE CONTRACTOR NEGLIGENCE
Despite accepting premiums and issuing policies, it is not uncommon for insurance companies in Florida to deny coverage for contractor negligence. There are different reasons an insurance company may give for denying your claim, and some may be valid while others are not. An insurance company may be engaging in bad faith insurance practices when denying valid claims—especially if they are denying claims in an effort to increase profits to the detriment of their policyholders.
Below is a list of reasons your insurance company may give you for denying your claim:
- The property is underinsured
- Insufficient evidence to support payments
- Lack of documentation provided
- Arson (intentionally set fire)
- Fraud or Illegal activity
- Unpermitted work to the property
- Damage values have been inflated
- Policy exclusions limit coverage
- Unpaid policy premiums
Contractor negligence claims are often undervalued by the insurance company. Insurance companies and adjusters are not interested in paying out settlements timely and properly. The insurance company wants to keep payouts low and premiums high to improve their profit margin.
Signs your claim may have been underpaid:
- Insurance Company’s Estimate Seems Too Low
If you feel that the estimate is too low, trust your gut and intuition. More often than not, if you suspect the estimate is too low, then it probably is.
- Adjuster Rushed the Property Inspection
By law, the adjuster must inspect your damaged property and issue a damage estimate within 60 days of the loss. Many adjusters rush through the inspection and do not do a thorough investigation, thereby creating an estimate of repairs cost that is artificially low. This is called a low-ball estimate. Whether the adjuster is careless or has bad faith intentions, it can leave you with a lower settlement offer than you need.
- Damage Was Overlooked or Not Accounted For
Review the insurance estimate and the adjuster documents carefully to ensure all damage and repair costs are identified. If damage has been overlooked or not accounted for in the estimate or documents, you need to take action. Failure to act could result in the underpayment of your claim.
- Part of Your Claim Was Denied
If any part of your claim was denied, then your claim may be undervalued. Often the insurance company will deny part of your claim to save money. If your property damage claim has been partially denied, it’s not the end of the claim. The claim can be reopened.
- Offered the Actual Cash Value Instead of Replacement Costs
Your insurance company may also offer to pay the actual cash value instead of the full cost required to replace or repair the property. Depending on your claim and your insurance policy, the insurance company may be underpaying your claim intentionally to save money.
- Wear & Tear or Old Damages
If your insurance company states that the damages are old or are from wear and tear, this may be a sign they are trying to underpay the repairs. If the insurance company did not ask you to make repairs to your property prior to issuing or renewing the insurance policy, and after a claim states damages are from wear and tear or are old damages, it’s assigned there intentionally trying to underpay your claim.
- Told You Do Not Need an Attorney or a Public Adjuster
If you are told you don’t need an attorney or a public adjuster on your claim, then you should call one and ask for a free claims review. Most attorneys or public adjusters will perform a free claim review to sure you are being treated properly under your insurance policy.
- Advised their there is a Lack of Coverage or a Gap in Coverage
Another sign that your insurance company has undervalued your property damage claim is when you have been advised about a lack of coverage or a gap in coverage under your insurance policy. If your insurance company says there is no coverage for certain types of damages or losses, then you should always get a second opinion.
Dealing with an insurance company on your contractor negligence claim can be a stressful and complex process. Insurance companies are large corporations. They have nearly unlimited resources and funds to fight contractor negligence insurance claims. Disputing a claim with your insurance company can be overwhelming. By retaining an experienced insurance claim lawyer, you can obtain significant assistance to make sure you obtain the insurance benefits and compensation you are entitled to under your insurance policy. Our insurance lawyers can help you by:
- Providing a free claims evaluation
- Explaining your legal rights as a policyholder
- Assessing the coverages available under your policy
- Investigating the cause of the fire and collecting evidence
- Hiring experts for unbiased assessments of your damages
- Determining the value of your claim
- Handling communications with your insurance company
- Negotiating with your insurance company
- Filing complaints with the Florida Department of Insurance
- Prosecuting your insurance company in a court of law
- Fighting for a fair settlement on your behalf
CONTACT MURRAY LAW GROUP TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Reach out to our office today to speak with one of our expert contractor negligence claim attorneys. The attorney will provide a free assessment of what your claim is worth quickly and effectively.
Contact Murray Law Group by calling 1-855-269-4317 today for a free consultation with an experienced Florida contractor negligence claim attorney.