South Florida Hospital News
Saturday August 8, 2020

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March 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 9


Ged Lawyers: Helping Providers Recover Millions of Dollars Owed in Property Damage Claims

If your hospital or medical practice suffered property damage in a hurricane or other disaster, it can sometimes be difficult to get money from your insurance carrier to pay for those damages. Some insurance companies will use excuses not to pay a legitimate insurance claim such as blaming the damage to wear and tear or lack of appropriate maintenance. Or they may dispute the full amount of the damages. As a result, you’re unable to recoup the full amount of your losses.

Since property and casualty policies are often complicated documents with highly technical language that can open the door for disagreements over whether a particular claim is covered, Boca Raton, FL-based Ged Lawyers, LLP will fight for organizations to help them get their money. They represent commercial property owners and residential property owners who have a covered loss—from a fire or a flood, a hurricane damage, or even a roof leak—and have a dispute with the insurance carrier about how much the damages are.
“We had a case where Hurricane Irma did a tremendous amount of damage to a condominium with an older roof,” says Marius J. Ged, one of the partners with Ged Lawyers. “Even though it was insured, the property owners received a flat out denial on the claim. We hired engineers and roofing experts to inspect the property and we recently settled the case for $1.2 million.”
The big misconception among property owners is that the insurance company's going to pay them properly and adjust the claim properly—which they never do, according to Ged. He notes that some of the reasons why claims would be denied would be lack of proper documentation and not bringing in the right experts to inspect the property.
“It's your duty to prove your damages as the insured to your insurance carrier,” he says. “The carrier just sends out an adjuster to look at the claim for you; but they're not proving the damages for you. In the case of a hospital or a medical practice, the experts that are really important for you would be window experts and roof experts.”
At Ged Lawyers, there is an entire division who solely handle property damage, that's all they do every single day, according to Ged.
“They don't moonlight in personal injury. They don't moonlight in divorce,” he says. “They handle property damage claims all day, every day.”
First, it’s essential to know what your policy covers and what it doesn’t. Since Ged Lawyers’ disaster recovery attorneys understand insurance policy language, they can help you determine whether your claim is covered under your existing policy. If it is, they can intervene on your behalf and force the carrier to hold up their end of the bargain and honor the policy they issued.
If they take on your property damage case, the team at Ged Lawyers will then hire loss consultants who will help the law firm document the damages.
“In a commercial setting, they're general contractors by trade,” says Ged. “They use specific software called Xactimate and they go through every nook and cranny of a building, literally in the granular detail, and they document the damages for us, which is used to defend the claim to show the insurance company that they're wrong.”
The law firm will also hire structural engineers and roofing experts, if necessary.
"The big money is in the roof and the windows, and unless you're a trained expert, you'll never know the issues there,” says Ged. “For example, there's argon gas in the windows along with different seals and mechanical components that may be compromised. This is something that most people, who are not window experts, would never understand.”
When it comes time to seek out a law firm to help with property damage, Ged says there are three criteria to determine whom to hire: experience, number of claims, and longevity.
“Our firm has been doing this for more than 25 years, representing people against insurance companies,” says Ged. “We've handled, by way of example, over 2,000 clients after Hurricane Sandy; and thousands more after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael. And again, our property damage division exclusively handles these types of claims.”

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