What are my rights if a mobile home next to mine caught on fire and caused damage to my mobile home and my car?

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What are my rights if a mobile home next to mine caught on fire and caused damage to my mobile home and my car?

The fire department determined the cause of fire to be electrical, and after 3 weeks of the neighbors insurance company trying to determine what happened, they say that they can’t determine the cause, that it could be lightning, a power surge, an animal could have chewed the cords, etc, and since they couldnt determine the caused the electrical fire, that they were denying the claim and will not pay for any of the damages. We had insurance on the car but not the mobile home. I would like to talk to a lawyer but I just want an idea if they will actually do anything or if it is a waste of time.

Asked on July 29, 2014 under Insurance Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The issue is, was the neighbor at fault somehow, such as by using frayed extension corrds, or was the neighbor not at fault, such as if it was lightning, a power surge, etc.? Your neighbor is not your insurer; they do not have to pay any time you suffer damage related to them, but only if they were negligent (careless) in causing the damage. So if you think they may have been at fault, you could sue them and see if you could prove that in court. Of course, it may be  difficult to prove that they were at fault, which means that you might spend the money on a lawsuit and yet not recover anything.

If you have your own insurance, you could submit a claim to your insurer. That is the purpose of insurance: to provide a mechanism for payment when no one else is legally or financially responsible for it.


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