Structural Damages

Structural Damages Lawyers in Los Angeles

Hidden structural damage to a property can often go unnoticed, sometimes for years after it first occurs. These issues can take various forms, from engineering flaws to damage in the framing or foundational elements, even problems with the soil beneath the structure. In many cases, the only visible signs are cracks in walls, misaligned doors and windows, or uneven floors, leaving the root cause a mystery.

Because structural damage isn't always immediately obvious, it often remains undetected until it becomes severe. What's more, when property owners do notice issues, they may not realize the underlying problem is structural. Insurance companies often attempt to address these damages with surface-level fixes, like patching up cracks, without addressing the deeper structural concerns. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to recurring claims because the root structural problem isn't initially resolved.

To thoroughly investigate potential structural damage, it's essential to consult experts who may need to conduct destructive testing. These experts, which may include structural and geotechnical engineers, may need to open walls, access parts of the foundation, or test the soil. These procedures can cause further damage to the property, and they're costly and complex. Insurance companies often only undertake such investigations when pushed by the policyholder.

Once structural damage is confirmed, coverage issues often arise, including the possible application of policy exclusions. Questions revolve around when the damage occurred and whether the policy was in effect at that time. Common exclusions include damages due to design flaws, wear and tear, water damage, or earth movement. When these exclusions are invoked, policyholders frequently need their own experts to prove a covered event or disprove the applicability of the exclusion.

Why is Structural Damage Dangerous?

Structural damage can also pose safety concerns for occupants, elevating the stakes. In such cases, insurance companies must have solid justifications for denying claims to avoid accusations of unreasonably and in bad faith exposing policyholders to danger.

Even when an insurance company acknowledges structural damage as covered, there's often significant disagreement over the appropriate scope, method, and cost of repairs. Insurer-appointed experts may propose minimal or insufficient fixes, necessitating the involvement of independent experts to establish the correct repair approach.

Identifying structural damages can be exceptionally challenging, and thoroughly investigating them requires expertise. Policyholders facing property damage from suspected structural issues and encountering difficulties with insurance coverage or investigations may want to consider seeking legal counsel or consulting their own experts.

If you suspect that you have been a victim of structural damages, don't hesitate to seek legal help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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