One minute you’re enjoying a warm cup of tea, and the next, your roof has collapsed on top of you. Many things can cause roof collapse—the weight of snow or ice, old age, poor maintenance, or natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.
If you’ve experienced a roof collapse, the first step is to ensure everyone in the building is safe. Once everyone is accounted for, secure medical help if needed. It’s then time to document your loss.
Documenting your roof collapse loss can be an overwhelming task at first. You must capture images that fully display all aspects of the damage from every angle possible to state details that are essential for legal purposes correctly. If this isn’t done correctly or entirely, and if important parts are missed out from recording, then it would just make it harder for any roof collapse lawyer working on such cases.
Here’s a guide on how to document your roof collapse loss:
1. Start outside.
Walk around every side of your property and take pictures with either a phone or camera from all angles possible. Make sure that too-distant photos aren’t taken as essential areas may not get captured correctly.
Take close-ups of any visible damages, such as holes created by debris falling through borders or chimneys. If any physical pieces of the roof or debris caused the collapse, try to preserve them as evidence. These may be required during the claims process or for further investigations.
2. Move inside.
Once records have been stored about the property exterior, move indoors to inspect damages meticulously, emphasizing structural integrity. This part would go a long way with your lawyer stating what caused the roof collapse.
Take care when walking around areas with unstable floor walls (use safety boots because nails might be pointing out), taking down hanging objects like ceiling fans so they do not fall onto anyone present when trying to take photographs. Make a note of the date and time when the roof collapse occurred. This information will be useful for insurance purposes and reference during claims.
3. Record everything.
Record everything inside, including broken windows/cedar shakes lying around loose plaster, etc. These recording efforts will give your lawyer a better understanding of how much work has been done since the damage occurred.
Create a list of damaged property and belongings affected by the roof collapse. Include detailed descriptions, approximate values, and any supporting documentation, such as purchase receipts, if available.
4. Document with add-ons.
Use additional tools to record on the spot. Your phone’s video functions can be handy in moving around, while video-stable ports will capture every minute detail of the damage.
If you know the cause of the roof collapse, such as heavy snowfall, severe storms, or structural issues, include that information in your documentation. This will help provide context and assist with the assessment of the claim.
5. Record vital information.
Make sure to note down important details so there is no confusion later on. Make a logbook containing all information regarding who was present during the roof collapse, if possible. This should also include guests or anybody else visiting at that particular time. It’s very useful for insurance claim purposes as well.
Collect any relevant documents related to your property, such as your homeowners’ insurance policy, previous inspection reports, or maintenance records. These documents can help support your claim and provide a history of your property’s condition.
6. Consult with professional contractors and also legal services.
Hiring a roof collapse lawyer would guide you in preparing files accurately enough to benefit you in getting an insurance settlement worth the damages incurred.
Contact a licensed roofing contractor or a qualified professional to assess the damage and provide a written evaluation. Their expert opinion and detailed report will strengthen your claim and help determine the extent of repairs or replacements required.
Once you have documented the loss, contact your insurance company to report the incident and initiate the claims process. Provide them with the information you have gathered, including photos, videos, assessments, and supporting documents.
7. Ensure proper safety measures.
While documenting, don’t forget that safety comes first. Ensure there’s no imminent threat in any room before entering to take pictures or retrieve belongings lost.
Secondly, ensure it is safe for everyone involved in helping to document carefully. Wear protective equipment like gloves and hard hats because working around damaged roofs poses risks.
Before documenting anything, ensure it’s safe to access the area where the roof collapsed. If there are any immediate safety concerns, such as structural damage or exposed electrical wires, prioritize your safety and contact professionals to address those issues first.
Documenting your roof collapse loss shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Although it may seem overwhelming initially, doing so saves the energy and time needed for the following events. Conversations or inspections would require perfect documentation as some lawyers work alongside experienced witnesses interpreting every little detail recorded by photographs & videography footage where necessary.
Finally! When filing insurance claims, ensure you have documented everything correctly & logically backed them up with clear photos. Videos provide great insight into how intense every damage was.
Also, never forget to contact a roof collapse lawyer, as having someone with experience in roof collapse-related cases would make the filing process less stressful— one less thing to worry about.