Competent Counsel for Earthquake Victims throughout the Southeast and Midwest
Strong representation for policyholders in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi
Earthquakes can’t be predicted. The next big quake could happen at any time. The best protection for your property and possessions is to have earthquake insurance. Typically, you will need a separate endorsement or a separate policy for earthquake insurance. You should not assume that your insurance policy will pay for earthquake damage.
At McWherter Scott & Bobbitt, we help you process your insurance claim provided you have the correct coverage. We contest efforts to deny your claim based on invalid exclusions or to refuse to fully pay your claim due to bad faith negotiation tactics. We also work with appraisers to assess the value of the contents of your property, including furniture, appliances, carpets, clothing, jewelry, equipment, and inventory. Contact our Tennessee-based insurance dispute lawyers for help with your claim.
How are earthquakes are measured?
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), “An earthquake is what happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another.” A tool called a seismograph measures the magnitude (or size) of the quake. Earthquakes are also measured for their intensity: how much shaking they cause.
While most people still use the Richter Scale to discuss earthquakes, the USGS uses something called the Moment Magnitude scale to determine the size of the quake.
Does Tennessee get a lot of earthquakes?
According to the Tennessean, earthquakes are fairly common in Tennessee. In 2018, there were 301 earthquakes. According to data from the US Geological Survey (USGS), that’s the highest amount in the last quarter century. The Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone is active, and small earthquakes are common.
While most earthquakes are fairly small, some can have devastating effects. Four of the earthquakes in Tennessee during the last 25 years have been significant. Two of those four happened in 2019. One earthquake, of 2.6 magnitude, happened a few days before the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Another, of 3.0 magnitude, happened near Claiborne County.
Read More: Tennessee Shakes as Oklahoma Quakes – Time to Review Your Policy
How skilled Tennessee earthquake lawyers help with insurance claims
Like many other natural disasters, there are immediate steps policyholders can take after an earthquake happens. Once these immediate measures are taken, we can begin to work to process your claim.
The immediate steps include:
- Turning off any electricity and other utilities that may be safety hazards if they run. Federal or local governmental officials should instruct residents on what to do.
- Arrange alternative living and work locations. If your home or place of business is a hazard or if it is unlivable or unworkable while repairs are being made, you’ll need to move. The insurance company should advance the funds so you can pay the rent, buy necessities and clothing, and move back when the construction work is complete.
Some of the insurance dispute issues we work to resolve include:
- Determining the full scope of the damage. When buildings are damaged due to earthquakes, more than the visible elements need to be inspected. The ground, the foundation, and all other engineering and architectural elements need to be reviewed for hidden damage and problems that may arise in the future.
- Determining whether the structure should be repaired, rebuilt, or renovated. If the property is not a total loss, we work with experts and professionals to determine what needs to be done, what materials are used, the timeline for the work, and other factors.
- Business interruption losses. Business owners also need separate business interruption services to pay for lost income, lost rents, fixed costs, payroll, IT costs, marketing, and other expenses while the construction work to the property is being done. We help itemize each and every expense and work with accountants and others to place the correct value on your lost revenue and lost profits.
Forceful advocates for policyholders affected by earthquakes
Earthquakes are scary events. When they happen, you need experienced lawyers who can help put your mind at ease. At McWherter Scott & Bobbitt, our Tennessee-based earthquake lawyers have decades of combined experienced. We work to get you advance payments and to get you the true value of your claims. To make an appointment, call 731.664.1340 or fill out our contact form. Our attorneys are licensed in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri.