3 times you may need a lawyer as a homeowner

November 21st, 2018  |  Home Insurance

In this post, we’ll go over a few scenarios where a property owner will want to hire the professional help of a lawyer.

Buying or selling a house

A real estate lawyer helps buyers and sellers demystify vague legal terms that may be confusing to the average person.

There are long legal forms, brokerage agreements, confusing fees, closing costs, land transfer taxes and negotiations that occur during a home purchase.

Having a lawyer explain these things and tailor agreements to your needs is only beneficial, as guidance and advice will ensure you make the most educated decision with your finances when it comes to home sales or purchases.

Lawyers are there, on your side, to answer any questions you have during consultations, including anything concerning tax implications, tax discounts, purchase agreements, bully bids, capital gains, legal consequences and more.

Defending a lawsuit

If someone slips or falls on something like a tree branch or pile of leaves that is plainly visible in the daylight, your visitor has little chance of winning their case if the decide to sue you. However, it’s your job as a homeowner to warn guests of hazards that aren’t obvious, such as loose steps or flooring.

In Canada, where ice and snow cause hazards for much of the year, homeowners are responsible for clearing their sidewalks, driveways and other walkways to ensure safety on their property.

If someone wants to sue you, they need to make the claim no more than two years after the incident. Homeowners insurance coverage will have a lawyer defend you in the case of a slip and fall claim or another liability issue.

Major or denied property insurance claim

Property owners may want to seek out a lawyer's help if their property damage claim is large, complicated, or has recently been denied by their insurance company.

To be successful, claimants need to approach lawyerswith proper documentation of the loss and all related events as early as possible to ensure a smooth claims process. This allows all experts to conduct their investigations ahead of any court proceedings.

Getting a lawyer involved shouldn't be the last resort here (it should be an initial step), unless you've thoroughly documented everything, and your claim has still been denied. Getting legal help from the onset ensures that your damages are properly reviewed, calculated and adjusted. You may be able to avoid the courtroom altogether.

Legal counsel helps you file a claim properly to avoid its denial. Lawyers who specialise in property damage claims are quite familiar with the legal obligations of insurance companies. They'll be able to hold insurers accountable for any breech of procedure in a way that you cannot.

Property insurance attorneys will typically have a contingency fee, which means they'll receive a percentage of your loss recovery as payment. 

Get a consultation first

If you're worried about your insurance company's response to a major loss (whether from fire, theft, or another calamity), hiring a lawyer as soon as possible means you'll approach the claim properly.

Getting your just and maximum payout is possible with a lawyer if they deem your case actionable. 

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