Texas Law Firm Creates Claims Practice to Aid Hurricane Victims

Aiming to aid hurricane-affected policyholders, Dallas-based law firm Baron & Budd, P.C., is creating a dedicated insurance claims practice to be headed by shareholder Bruce Steckler. The practice has been established to assist home and business owners in negotiating property insurance claims initially related to Hurricane Ike in the firm’s home state of Texas and Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana.

Steckler, a veteran civil justice attorney with a long record of successfully representing clients in insurance disputes, became interested in helping businesses and homeowners affected by catastrophic events following the losses experienced by his own family in Galveston, Texas.

While Texas’ most destructive hurricane devastated Galveston County on Sept.12, 2008, flooding over 100,000 homes, most property owners are only now discovering the full extent of the damages and estimating the true cost of rebuilding.

With an influx of new lawsuits expected to be filed early in 2009, Baron & Budd is employing independent claims adjusters to thoroughly assess homes and buildings (including offices, churches, commercial and retail buildings, etc.) and advising clients on how to contest tactics commonly used by insurance companies to avoid paying legitimate claims, including: denial of covered claims; ambiguous policy exclusions; attempts to blame the damage on excluded causes; underpayment due to computerized data sources; undervalued claims when solely obvious damage is considered; and unreasonable delays in investigating and evaluating damages.

Baron & Budd is partnering with Louisiana-based Kanner & Whitely LLC, which recently won a Hurricane Katrina insurance dispute on behalf of a parish school district after four years and has been successful in achieving substantial increases for their clients over the initial offer they received from their insurance companies.

Source: Baron and Budd P.C., www.baronandbudd.com/