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Old 02-06-2018, 06:31 PM
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,493 posts, read 6,433,728 times
Reputation: 9404


Originally Posted by AK-Cathy View Post
These stories are confusing to me. It certainly differs from what I've come to believe about liability. I always thought that if my tree fell on a neighbor's property that I'd be responsible...
Nope. One of my trees fell on a neighbor's house, I never had a bit of trouble about it, it was an 'act of God'- no liability for me...not that *I* believe in any 'gods' but that's how it goes...the unfortunate thing was that it didn't kill any of the scumbags that lived there, in fact, I think they made out rather well from *their* insurance co.

RE: State Farm- I've heard that they are real *bleeps* about paying claims, somewhere on par with Allstate. I don't have any personal experience with SF, but I do with Allstate, and they are real <bleeps>. It took me 11 months to collect on a claim when some dumbarse in a car rear-ended me and totaled my bike, and that didn't happen until I showed up in their office clearly exercising my 2A right and informed them that I wasn't leaving until they settled. (Note: I did NOT make any threats of violence, that would have been illegal, I simply refused to be intimidated.)

Old 02-06-2018, 06:40 PM
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
15,755 posts, read 23,998,422 times
Reputation: 11710
Unless you can prove that they were negligent you aren't going to collect from their insurance company. My background is in auto claims, but negligence theory doesn't change much. You can sue them if you want, but a judge is going to tell you the same thing. Believe it or not insurance companies don't just make stuff up as they go along (well some do LOL). What's covered and what's not is based on what's in the policy but also case law that's on the books. Your story is hard for you but it happens ALL THE TIME and if this was a payable loss, they'd pay it. Farm Bureau is usually a good company, too.

As noted above, this is like a tree falling on your neighbor's house. You aren't liable for that either, unless your tree was dead and your neighbor can prove they told you to take it down. I used to work with a guy who sent his neighbor a certified letter every single year about a tree that posed a threat to his house. He told me it was the only hope he had of collecting from their insurance if the tree did fall on his house.

And y'all are home all day watching too much t.v. with lawyer commercials if you believe the insurance company gives a rat's arse about an attorney getting involved. My response when someone says they are getting an attorney is "OK". Could not care less. I'll tell the attorney same thing I'm telling you (although I never do get those letters because attorneys don't take cases like this). Attorneys don't make insurance companies pay what isn't covered. And attorneys take 1/3 of settlements PLUS EXPENSES they aren't going to bill someone who can't afford to pay their deductible because they know they'll never see the money without garnishing wages.

Insurance department can't make a carrier pay a claim either. File an insurance dept complaint in this case and they will ask Farm Bureau why they denied the claim, FB will tell them why and ID will say "OK" and close the case.

Last edited by twingles; 02-06-2018 at 06:51 PM..
Old 02-06-2018, 10:36 PM
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 18,546,093 times
Reputation: 6356
In CA one can hire a private adjuster. We did when our home burned down in a forest fire. They probably saved us over 300K in our claim after insurance claim limits were reached. good luck!

I knew I was in trouble when the SF adjuster told us he was on our side. I told him until you see my signature on your paycheck, you work for SF
Old 02-06-2018, 11:26 PM
8,768 posts, read 10,365,747 times
Reputation: 13824
Kansas does recognize claims for damages when a fire on one property damages another. The State Supreme Court has set out some guidelines with this being the most important related to fires:

"3. When the facts are undisputed, whether an activity is inherently or intrinsically dangerous is a question of law to be decided by the court. When ruling on a motion for summary judgment involving this question, the trial court as a matter of law must determine from the undisputed facts contained in the record whether the activity under review is inherently dangerous. When the facts are disputed, the question is to be determined by the jury."
So, in the end, it's comes down to who can convince a Judge or Jury that the activity was dangerous.

Some of the standards are:
"Whether an activity is abnormally or inherently dangerous is decided by the following factors:

(a) existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land, or chattels of others;

(b) likelihood that the harm that results from it will be great;

(c) inability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care;

(d) extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage;

(e) inappropriateness of the activity to the place where it is carried on; and

(f) extent to which its value to the community is outweighed by its dangerous attributes."

And you have to keep this part in mind:
"8. At common law, persons using fire for their own purposes were absolutely liable for damage caused by its spread to the property of another. However, it is now universally recognized that the foundation of liability for damage caused by the escape of fire, aside from any absolute liability created by statute, is negligence, and that one is not liable for damage caused by the dispersion of fire without proof of negligence in controlling or otherwise permitting the escape of the fire."

Since there is case law that can guide a person on this, a call to an attorney may be worthwhile.
Old 02-07-2018, 01:09 AM
1,554 posts, read 853,704 times
Reputation: 1182
State Farm and Allstate were both complete criminals after 3000 homes burned in the Oakland Hills. They only understand lawyers. There is just to much that can go wrong if you try to do your own legal work. Process serving has to be done precisely. Kindly, inform the neighbors, your attorney will be handling the matter, with their insurance company.
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