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Recovering financial losses from storm damage in Texas

Texas has received more than its share of storms this year. Hail storms ripped through portions of the state earlier this month and thunderstorms have been plentiful, bringing damaging rain and high winds with them.

Texas has suffered far more financial losses due to tornadoes in the past number of decades than any other state and, according to local news reports, ranks third in the nation for lightning damage insurance claims. Earlier this summer, lightning struck the ground near a ride at the fair in Dallas, knocking out sound and computer systems in the Midway and impairing the Top o' Texas Tower for days. Fortunately, no one was reportedly injured.

Avoiding lightning strikes

The dangerous lightning strike in Fair Park was contrary to what most people expect from lightning bolts. Many people believe that lightning only strikes objects that rise high into the air or are, at least, the highest point in the area. However, during a lightning storm, no place outside is safe.

If you find yourself in the midst of a Texas storm, count the number of seconds between seeing a flash and hearing the thunder. If the thunder roars in less than 30 seconds from seeing the lightning, you need to follow these tips:

  • Avoid standing under or near trees.
  • Do not stay in open areas like fields or large parking lots.
  • Get inside a fully enclosed structure, not a gazebo or open porch.
  • If no building is available, take cover in a motor vehicle with a solid metal roof.
  • If neither are nearby, seek a lower area and get as low to the ground as you can without actually lying down.
  • Avoid bodies of water and stay away from electronics, windows, doors and plumbing as they are all conductors of electrical current.

Recovering from storm damage

Business and homeowner insurance policies are supposed to reimburse owners for losses suffered during storms. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies treat policyholders fairly, resulting in bad faith claims by the ones they have sworn to protect. As you attempt to clean-up damage after a thunderstorm, tornado or hurricane, you do not want to have to spend more time and energy fighting your own insurance company.

If you have suffered financial losses due to hail, flooding or wind, and your insurance carrier is denying or delaying your claim, seek the counsel of an experienced insurance attorney. A lawyer knowledgeable about pursuing insurance claims on behalf of policyholders can help.

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