Water damage can be extensive, and there are very few forms of water damage as substantial as a pipe bursting. Burst pipes can cause structural damage, interior damage, and damage to furniture, appliances, and electronics — it all depends on how large the pipe was and how long the situation went without being addressed. If you’ve suffered significant damage to your property because of a burst pipe, you should get legal help as soon as possible. Not only will you need to recover compensation for your damages, but you’ll also need to identify the individual liable for the incident and protect yourself from liability at the same time.
Pipe Bursts for Renters
Renters may not need to deal with the structural damage associated with a burst pipe, but they will likely have to deal with the damage to their furniture. For the most part, this is usually covered by renter’s insurance. However, renters also have another concern: they may be blamed for being the cause of a burst pipe. For instance, a renter might leave for a week in winter without notifying their landlord, and the pipes may freeze over. In this case, the renter will need to procure legal help, as the landlord is likely to find them liable and request that they pay for the damages in full. Renters may also have additional issues if they are renting an apartment, as a burst pipe could potentially leak from an entirely different unit above them.
Pipe Bursts for Landlords
If a burst pipe has occurred within your property, you may need legal help to determine who is responsible for the problem. A pipe may burst simply because it has gotten old or has been damaged by the environment. In this situation, your insurance will often cover not only your burst pipe and structural damage, but also any of the property damage that your renters have experienced. But there are also situations in which a burst pipe could occur due to negligence on behalf of your renters.
As an example, one of your renters may have left a hose attached to an exterior faucet, leading to a frozen exterior faucet and a burst pipe inside of your property. In this situation, your renter can be considered responsible for the damage — but you may need an attorney in order to procure compensation from the renter regarding the incident.
Pipe Bursts for Apartment Owners
Apartments can have additional complications regarding burst pipes. Burst pipes can occur within a common area, which often means that the building’s insurance will be responsible for the actual damages associated with the pipe. That being said, there can also be other issues; if the pipe burst is considered to be the problem of another owner, you may need to go through that owner’s insurance directly. Not only will you need to be reimbursed from any issues with your interior walls, ceiling, and floor, but you’ll also need to be reimbursed for any of your possessions that have been damaged and your time spent in a hotel or in other lodging. Apartment pipe bursts often begin through a tracing of who exactly was responsible for the burst pipes and why the burst pipes occurred — and this may require some minor investigation.
Additional Costs Associated With Pipe Bursts
Water damage isn’t the only thing that a tenant or owner needs to worry about following a burst pipe. Individuals will also need to worry about the potential for mold, which can reduce air quality and cause serious illness. Mold damage can be significant; if a burst pipe isn’t dealt with in time, additional compensation may be needed. An attorney will be able to aid in determining whether there may be any secondary issues regarding a pipe burst that will need to be covered.
Have you experienced a burst pipe? The first step should be consulting with an attorney. An attorney will be able to carefully assess your damages to make sure that you are compensated in full, in addition to protecting you from any liability. The faster you’re able to procure compensation, the faster you’ll be able to put your home or your business back together.