As the flood waters start to recede here in NYC, it’s useful to think about all of the different ways the storm may have had legal ramifications for you and your family. One of the major considerations is housing: if your home was damaged, or if you are without required services for an extended period of time, you may have a claim against your landlord, utility provider or insurance company. Likewise, if you had possessions damaged during the storm, you may need to make an insurance claim to protect or replace your interest. In natural disasters such as this, often insurance companies, landlords and other responsible parties resist paying what you may be entitled to under your lease, policy or other agreement, because of the sheer number and value of claims.
Other areas of concern are in the employment and educational spheres. Are you being penalized for your inability to work during the extended power outages and transportation suspensions? Are you unable to work due to child care obligations? Are you receiving less of an education than you bargained for because of school closures or delays, or the cancelation of important programs you were counting on?
There are many ways that individuals and businesses can be impacted by the storm. Most of us would be smart to take stock of our homes, jobs and property to see where we might need to fight a little harder to get what we’re entitled to receive. Also, for those who braved the storm without basic estate documents, including guardianship designations, living wills, power of attorney forms and sufficient life insurance planning, now would be a good time to think about how you would need your property and rights to be allocated should, next time, the truly unthinkable happen.
If you are having any issues getting back on your feet, and feel you could benefit from a legal advocate in your corner, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are experienced in dealing with landlords, insurance companies and creditors, and we can offer great advice to help you be prepared for any future disasters.