Is seeking legal advice worth while regarding an insurer that is trying to get out of paying on a claim?

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Is seeking legal advice worth while regarding an insurer that is trying to get out of paying on a claim?

We had a fire in our backyard originating from a green waste trashcan near our parked RV travel trailer. The travel trailer, not insured, was burned and deemed a loss. Additionally, I (the resident) sustained burns and injuries. Our homeowner’s policy states that it will only pay out $500 max for damage or loss to a trailer on personal property (it was purchased 5 months ago for $12,000). It seems not only has the insurance company dragged its feet for the past 5 weeks but it is also now trying to get out of the claim. Is this worth while getting an attorney for advice or action against our insurance company for the value of the travel trailer, as well as any personal property destroyed by the fire?

Asked on December 11, 2014 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

What was the current fair market value of the trailer, as of when it was burned (the purchase price is irrelevant; it's the then-current FMV that matters)? And what was the then fair market value of any property lost? Generally, a lawyer will run you for even simple cases (assuming the other side doesn't simply "roll over" and give up quickly) $3,000 - $6,000 (that's a rough ballpark; lower and higher are both possible). If the total value you are trying to recover is over that, it's probably worth hiring an attorney.


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