Hello friend. My name is Ely, and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
delay between your follow ups and my replies.
I am sorry for your situation. Please understand that this matter may be divided into two, separate issues - (1) your claims and (2) your mother's claims. But to discuss this, we need to also discuss how insurance works.OVERVIEW
The insurance company agrees to cover any possible damage in the event of a fire. But, understand that this is a CONTRACT
. An insurance company does not really want to pay out, and will avoid a payout based on any reason it can. To force the issue, you and/or your mother may have to go to Court.YOUR CLAIM
You and your wife may have a claim against your mother, technically. Understand that aside from paying out the insured for a loss, the insurance company is often liable for the judgment that you'd get against the INSURED (i.e. your mother) if you sue her. Ergo, to avoid paying out huge sums from a judgment where their insured (again, your mother) is likely responsible, the insurance company likes to settle the claim to avoid litigation
. Once an agreement is reached, you sign a release and waive your rights to sue in exchange for the payout.
Someone in your situation may wish to claim a legal fiction of possibly suing your mother unless they pay out. The company may wish to pay out rather to have to pay for her attorney and for any judgment. While you may have no intention of actually suing, of course, it may be in your best interest to claim
that you do.YOUR MOTHER'S CLAIM
You mother may have a SEPARATE claim, independently of course, for the property lost.ATTORNEY
Now, neither her nor your complaints and threats have been taken very seriously here largely because they insurance company does not see you as a threat. An attorney usually cuts through this malarkey since the adjuster knows counsel does not put up with this and WILL file suit if needed (whereas here, they do not see you as much of a threat without an attorney since you filing or winning a suit without counsel is unlikely). Then a settlement is usually reached. The attorney should take this on a contingency basis, meaning they do not get paid unless you do. Usual set up is their take is 33% settlement, 40% win at trial, 45% at appeal; plus some office costs. Everything is negotiable.
May I recommend the Texas Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP. I know you had said that you spoke with one attorney, but try speaking with several and see who you feel comfortable with. Your mother and you may need different attorneys here.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.
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