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Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 56862
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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Our rental dwelling -which we own -my husband & myself- burned

Customer Question

Our rental dwelling -which we own -my husband & myself- burned and is now awaiting demolition. Fortunately, the tenant family was not at home or there would have been personal injury if not death.
We felt secure with the residence having a fire hydrant 50 ft. away - at the end of driveway at the street-side curb. At least 4 fire companies were called out. Problem was that the 4 closest fire hydrants to the fire location were not in working order nor had they ever been inspected (as stated by a fireman) within the last 12 years. (this dialog was first-hand by the firemen but now that they have been informed that they are public servants much of their dialog is different from what we heard the morning after the fire.) Neither the fire inspector or the insurance inspector could find any origin for the cause of fire.
We were informed that a pumper truck was at the seen of the fire which was never put into use. No fireman will speak to this point. However, my contention is that no pumper should have had to respond if the hydrants were in working order! Why was pumper truck called to the scene - obviously because there was no water available. So this may present another issue - is the fire company responsible? We get nowhere with our questions. Lawyers we have spoken to will not address any of our concerns except to tell us we have been compensated. How? I bought our insurance to look after ourselves.
We have always had insurance on the dwelling - naturally to cover this and any unforeseen problems. We invested in the insurance and paid the premiums so- this what we collect is our invested money in return.
Question - Why when the Village is responsible for our loss of this dwelling can they not be held liable? We carried insurance to cover ourselves for anything we may have been liable for, so why is the municipality able to get away with their negligence? Why can we not be compensated by the Village for the loss of our property when it was their fault for the loss? Any inquiry we have made - respond by telling us that we have been compensated for our loss with our insurance. Yes, we did get paid by the insurance company - but we purchased that coverage, paid the premiums, looked after ourselves at our expense, and now believe that municipality bears some responsibility in the cost.
What we received from the insurance company would never cover the cost to rebuild. The insurance company will only cover 5% of the cost of demolition. Along with the clean-up are the unforeseen costs of fees for permits, asbestos -inspection & possible removal if present, disposal of materials, etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.
have you lodged a claim against the village in court? why you do you think you cannot pursue one?
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.
awaiting your reply, thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Any inquiry we have made, we have been told that since we have received a payment on our homeowners insurance for this rental property due to the fire loss, we cannot collect from our insurance company and that of the Village. We found a significant shortfall between the insured value and the cost to rebuild. Due to their negligence, we feel the Village should be held responsible to enable us to rebuild at no cost to us since they allowed it to burn beyond repair- a total loss due to defective fire hydrants. Should we also seek to go after the fire department as well, since they are associated with the village. Why would a lawyer be reluctant to act on our behalf and pursue this case?
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.
You can pursue a claim in court. To the extent you have otherwise recovered that may impact amount of damages and mitigates recovery but does not eliminate the case. A lawyer may be reluctant because not seeing enough of recovery to pursue, but that does not mean you do not have a case! You can proceed and may find local counsel interested to handle using
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.
Kindly rate me positively.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If the amount being pursued isn't sufficient for a lawyer to be interested in, then we can always up the amount we are seeking. We purchased and paid to have insurance coverage on our property so why does that now act against us? We paid for this protection. As previously stated, the amount received would not replace the the value of the structure lost, therefore the village should be held to make up the difference enabling us to have a viable dwelling available for occupancy. Actually, the village should be held totally in the wrong. If I had no insurance maybe they would have to pay for our loss in total? If I have a case and can pursue a claim in court but have already recovered for damages why would I consider even challenging this issue - it seems I will not win anyways? So I have a case - where will it get me? I have recovered for damages but not nearly enough to ever rebuild!! This village is not being held responsible to their negligence. They have done nothing to assist except to harass us and site us for code violations.
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.
Pursue the case and seek highest amount you can calculate the damages. The case will often settle before trial so you have room to move down. and are both excellent lookup directories. Both highly rated. Both used by lawyers. Easy to search and find local options. Good luck. Kindly rate the answer OK or higher.