What Do I Do if My Car is Flooded?
Once again, we are experiencing a deluge of flooding here in New Orleans. If you are one of us unlucky ones this morning who woke up to your car flooded, you are probably wondering what to do.
DO NOT START YOUR CAR. Even though this may be your first instinct, this could cause even more damage if there is water in the engine.
Take photos of the damage. This includes the outside and the inside of your car. Take as many photographs as possible to try to show the extent of the water damage.
CALL A TOW COMPANY to get your car to higher ground if needed so that you can start drying the car out as soon as possible.
Inspect your car - look under the hood to see if you can identify how extensive the damage is, check your oil dipstick (which should indicate whether there is water in your engine), check your electrical components, check your fuel tank.
Remove all of the water you can inside your car. Use a wet/dry vacuum to collect standing water, use towels to soak up water, take out your carpet, seats, or seat cushions.
If you have paid for comprehensive insurance coverage, you should call your insurance company as soon as possible. Your auto insurer will open a claim with you and arrange for you to have your car inspected. Because there is likely to be a lot of claims following this widespread flooding, you will want to do this as soon as possible to get your car repaired or replaced as soon as it is feasible.
If you open a claim with your insurer, under Louisiana law, your insurer owes you a duty of good faith and fair dealing in adjusting your claim. Under LA R.S. 22:1892 and 22:1973, your insurer must adjust your auto claim within 14 days of being notified of the claim. If your insurer does not timely initiate an adjustment of your claim and timely pay any damages you have suffered, you may have a bad faith claim against your insurer. If you think your insurance company is not handling your property damage claims properly, you may have additional claims that you can bring against them, including a claim for penalties and a claim for attorneys fees in addition to your property damage claim. Please give us a call for a free consultation.
This is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice