When Does Property Damage Warrant a Claim?

Property damage covers a wide range of incidents Floridians deal with every day. The typical property claims people think of include buildings, homes, and vehicles. This covers most claims across the state, but the list of incidents you could file a claim for extends far beyond that.

Defining Property Damage Claims

It’s important to have a general understanding of the necessary circumstances that can lead to a claim. In order for a claim to be made, there must be actual and provable damage to a piece of real or personal property as the result of either a purposeful or negligent act or an act of nature.

“Real” property is any property that is fixed to a location and generally cannot or will not be moved such as homes, businesses, land, and any property attached to or fixed to those pieces of property (such as machinery). “Personal” property covers other pieces of property that are movable but are still owned and/or managed by an individual such as vehicles, appliances, furniture, and electronics.

Circumstances Required for a Florida Property Damage Claim

As noted above, there must be a purposeful or negligent act by another party or an act of nature that causes property damage. This excludes incidents where you cause the damage yourself.

For purposeful or negligent acts, a claim can be possible even if the individual did not intend to create the damage. Purposeful implies that person intended to cause the damage while negligent implies the person may not have intended to cause the damage but failed to act in a reasonable or careful manner.

Acts of nature cover almost all weather without any human intervention present. In all these situations, a failure by the person filing the claim to take any steps to mitigate the damage could be considered negligence and disrupt the claim.

Examples of acts of nature that may lead to a property damage claim in Florida include:

  • Wind damage (whether from a hurricane, tornado, or heavy winds)
  • Hail damage
  • Flooding or heavy rain damage
  • Lightning damage
  • Fire or smoke damage
  • Earthquake or ground tremors damage
  • Falling tree damage
  • Insect infestation

Minor damage in any of these cases that do not impact the function or aesthetic of the property itself will limit your ability to file a claim and the amount you may be entitled to. At The Law Offices of Ray Garcia, we help the people of Florida navigate the difficult nature of property damage claims. These cases can be complicated, especially if the damage is the result of negligence which is harder to prove. If you have damaged property and need to know whether you have a claim, contact our team.

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Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A.

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