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The Damn Flood!

The Damn Flood!

We at Simon Law Offices experienced, first hand, the devastation brought about as a result of the deluge of rain the dreadful weekend of August 12-14, 2016.  Sadly, so many in Lafayette and the surrounding parishes suffered tremendous losses as a result.  Most that sustained losses are in one of two primary categories: 1) Those with flood insurance; 2) Those without flood insurance.

If you have flood insurance there are a few things you should know.  First of all, it is very important that you document everything!  Hopefully you took pictures and/or videotaped all items damaged, the high water mark and all areas where there was water intrusion.  If you have proof of purchase of the items damaged such will go a long way to providing proof of loss.  Secondly, it is very important that you properly notified your insurer of the claim.  While it is ok that you initially notified by phone, it is extremely important that you confirm the notice in writing and provide all of your documentation of the losses sustained and the full measure of your damages. In Louisiana there are various state statutes that set forth deadlines and requirements that are to be followed by insurance companies when dealing with claims.  These statutes also provide for penalties and attorney fees against the insurance company and for the benefit of the claimant if the insurance company violated the provisions of the statute….for example, failing to initiate loss adjustment timely, failing to make a timely offer, etc.  Thus, it is very important that you not only document the extent of the damages but also the nature and date of the notice provided to your insurance company.  Similar concerns exist if you have the appropriate coverage on your automobile and it was damaged in the flood.

If you do not have the necessary insurance all is not lost.  Governor Edwards was instrumental in having the federal government declare numerous parishes as federal disaster areas.  As such, FEMA relief is available provided you similarly provide documentation of your losses and properly file your claim.  Among others, FEMA will provide assistance with temporary lodging, assistance with home repairs, assistance with replacement of personal property, unemployment benefits for jobs lost because of the flood, low interest loans, etc.  Here is the link: www.disasterassistance.gov. Here is the phone # 1-800-621-FEMA(3362).

Nearly 75 years ago my father, J. Minos Simon, began the family tradition of providing exemplary legal services to the citizens throughout the local communities and the state of Louisiana.  A tradition that I proudly embraced and have tried to fulfill for nearly 30 years.  Simon Law Offices, Cajun Strong, and rebuilding lives throughout Louisiana one client at a time.