The bottom line is that you still shouldn't risk losing your rights to compensation by waiting too long to take legal action. You should seek legal assistance right away.
Houston, Texas (PRWEB) September 21, 2010
Even though the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike has passed, the right to file a storm-related claim remains for many Texas homeowners and businesses, Houston attorney Brad T. Wyly says.
“I know many residents and business owners are worried they might have lost their right to recover compensation for their losses and damages when the anniversary arrived and they had not yet taken legal action,” says Wyly, the founding partner of Wyly Law Firm, P.C.
“However, under Texas law and possibly the provisions in their own insurance policies, their right to recover could be intact for several more weeks, months or even years.”
Hurricane Ike slammed the Texas coast near Galveston as a Category 2 storm on September 13, 2008. The hurricane killed 112 people along the Gulf Coast and wreaked an estimated $29.6 billion in damages in coastal and inland areas. It was one of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.
Wyly says that many homeowners and businesses in Houston and its surrounding communities in Harris and Galveston counties are still in disputes with their insurance carriers over underpaid or unpaid property damage claims.
He says policyholders might be concerned about a commonly found provision that prohibits suits from being filed more than two years after a cause of action accrues.
“The cause of action, in most cases, accrues on the day the claim was denied or underpaid, and for many people, the two-year anniversary of that date could still be several weeks or months away,” Wyly says. “In other words, the date the storm hit was not the date that started the clock running on your claim.”
The Houston hurricane insurance lawyer also says the Texas Insurance Code and Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act provide relief for those who are victims of unfair or bad-faith insurance practices, such as unreasonable delay or denial of claims.
The statute of limitations for such claims – the period in which a lawsuit must be filed – is two years from the date when the wrongful act occurred. For many policyholders, that means the deadline for asserting a claim may still not have arrived.
“The time for starting the statute of limitations period could be much later if a person’s legal injury was simply undiscoverable or couldn’t be discovered because of fraud,” Wyly says.
Wyly also points out that breach of insurance contract lawsuits could linger through 2012. Under Texas law, the statute of limitations period for breach of contract claims is four years.
“The bottom line is that you still shouldn’t risk losing your rights to compensation by waiting too long to take legal action,” Wyly says. “You should seek legal assistance right away.”
About Wyly Law Firm
The Wyly Law Firm, P.C., handles cases in Houston and the surrounding communities, including Baytown, Harris County, Pasadena, Galveston and Beaumont. The firm also handles business law issues and disputes. Attorney Brad T. Wyly, the firm’s founder, is a skilled negotiator and lawyer. Wyly has extensive experience in personal injury cases, including claims involving complex accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. He was named a Rising Star in Law & Politics magazine in 2005 and 2006. To contact Wyly Law Firm, P.C., call (713) 574-7034 or use the firm’s online form.