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Car accident started fire to uninsured shop

2 vehicle car collision caused...

2 vehicle car collision caused telephone pole to break- wires come down and burn down small repair shop and some damage to neighboring house, in which the owner of shop lived. Shop is 100% UNINISURED. House was. House uninhabitable- smoke damage. Vehicle responsible for collision had 25,000 liability. Under homeowners insurance "loss of use" which has $28,000 coverage, what can be used, bought and be covered? Also can electrical provider be held liable for lines comming down?

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Answered in 36 minutes by:
11/8/2013
Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,580
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing law for 19+ years and look forward to assisting you. With regard to your post:

2 vehicle car collision caused telephone pole to break- wires come down and burn down small repair shop and some damage to neighboring house, in which the owner of shop lived. Shop is 100% UNINISURED. So he will want to make a claim against the car drivers. Both. The jury will decide which one was responsible and / or if one is 10% responsible, the other 90%.

House was. At least, thank goodness.

 

House uninhabitable- smoke damage. Vehicle responsible for collision had 25,000 liability. Pretty low, that is a shame.

Under homeowners insurance "loss of use" which has $28,000 coverage, what can be used, bought and be covered? That will depend on your policy. Read all the definitions of what exactly you purchased. You then submit what you understand to be covered by what you bought - and the company will tell you if it agrees with your claim or not. You can also speak to the adjuster and discuss the items you are concerned about. But here is generally how it works and what is covered under "loss of use".

 

You will want to look to see about things OTHER THAN loss of use, such as contents - did he get coverage for such damages?

 

Also can electrical provider be held liable for lines comming down? Generally, only if you can find some action or omission where the electical provider was negligent and that negligence caused the damages. We know that it is likely that at least one car driver was negligent - it would be more remote that the electical provider had anything negligent to do with it, but it is possible I suppose. For instance, let's say it had negligently allowed some too-low-hanging wires to remain as such - which caused them to go lower when the pole was hit, causing the electrocution to occur that would not have occurred, even with the collision, had the wires been properly fixed/re-situated.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Alexia Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX

Your online legal resource!

 

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Nyseg- electrical provider, took over 1 hr to turn off power.- firefighters are witnesses. Power was zapping place sparking numerous fires. Nyseg said they didnt get call to turn it off right away. Could county be held liable for not forwarding the called to them which was called in to 911 right away? roughly 100 firefighters responded- about $500,000 damages, customers cars, parts, supplies, 2 story garage, sheds, ect..

Hello again, and thank you for your follow up:

Nyseg- electrical provider, took over 1 hr to turn off power. Was that negligence? Or standard? That may be an issue for professional malpractice - in which case you will need an expert in the field of that industry to testify that the company screwed up when it did x, y, z and cause it to take what is known to be an unacceptable time to turn off the power.

- firefighters are witnesses. Witnesses to what? the fact that there was electric charge? That part would be expected and can't be prevented if a car decides to hit a pole. What you need is the witnesses that can testify that 1 hour is not considered reasonable in that industry (industry experts) and what was negligently done or not done to cause the additional damage to the property that a shorter time of turning off power would have prevented. This may be 110% entirely true - that 1 hour is ludicrous and someone dropped the ball. But you will want evidence of that. I can understand wishing to find negligence of the deep pocket electric company, because the property owner forgot to get sufficience insurance to cover such damages as he may have suffered. That is another issue: does the $28k or other coverage, along with the $25k from the car, cover his financial losses? He can't get pain and suffering if he wasn't hurt, so that wild card amount isn't in play. The damages will be 'cut and dried' (relatively speaking). But, know also that the car driver with the $25k CAN be sued for more than $25K if the damages are more - if he has assets, or a great job where you can garnish his wages for any extra amount, you don't have to accept the $25k.

Power was zapping place sparking numerous fires. They can't turn if off in a moment's notice necessarily - but how fast they can and should have, needs to be determined and that is why I think you need more facts that you can get through discover. For instance, is there an industry acceptable time frame? If not, how about getting the stats on the companies historical rate of success of turning off power when such an emergency occurs? If you consistently see that within 15 minutes, things are off, then you can at least say it didn't happen in the regular time frame... then, you must determine WHY? I.e. negligence by county/911, perhaps firefighters should have but didn't? All these are important things to find out.

Nyseg said they didnt get call to turn it off right away. When you sue, you can get that info in discovery. But you will likely have to file a claim and if they don't respond to requests, you'll have to sue.

Could county be held liable for not forwarding the called to them which was called in to 911 right away? Again, if they are required to (and I'd expect there is some responsibility in your local rules somewhere), they may be able to be sued as well. But these are things that seem to be unknown at this point - who was negligent beyond the obvious driver? Did someone else commit negligence.

roughly 100 firefighters responded- Wow, big. They probably cost the taxpayers more than the value of the propery owner's damages.

about $500,000 damages, customers cars, parts, supplies, 2 story garage, sheds, ect.. Wow, and the shop property property owner forgot to get himself some insurance. Ouch.

He will have to make his claims on what he thinks was done wrong (as touched on above) - and then get the proofs of same - which is much easier once the suit against everyone has been started - because that generates the RIGHT to discovery he wouldn't otherwise necessarily have.


I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Alexia Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX

Your online legal resource!

Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,580
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
Verified
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Alexia Esq.
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Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,580
13,580 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.

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