There are many reasons that homeowners might want to consider working with an experienced Florida Insurance Claims Attorney. One reason that many people do not consider is the importance of retaining qualified experts.
A recent decision out of a New Jersey court demonstrates the potential pitfalls of assuming all experts are created equal. An insurer moved to strike and to exclude the insured’s expert report in a lawsuit arising out of a homeowner’s insurance claim. The expert generated a twelve page report that indicated necessary repairs to both the interior and exterior of the property following Superstorm Sandy. The estimated value of the repairs in the report was $86,000. The expert that drafted the report was not present during the inspection of the property, did not visit the property, and failed to discuss the condition of the property with the insured prior to the storm.
The insurance company sought to exclude the expert’s opinion and testimony based on the grounds that no factual basis existed upon which the expert’s evidence could be based. Although the homeowner indicated the expert had been involved in the process of calculating property damage estimates for more than ten years and routinely used this approach, the judge granted the motion to exclude the expert’s opinions.
The court indicated that the expert could not determine with any degree of certainty which damage was caused by the storm without actually investigating the premises. The conclusions of the expert were determined to be speculative and tenuous despite his experience. Although the insured might well have retained an experienced individual to inspect the property, an insurance claims attorney understands the expert also must be qualified to testify at trial. Without this critical evidence on the issue of causation, the claim was predictably denied.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].