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El Niño: How It Can Damage Your Business’s Property

By Peterson Law Group on February 10, 2024

Rain water pouring off a roof.

El Niño is a climatic phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, typically occurring every few years. This warming alters atmospheric circulation patterns, leading to significant weather disturbances worldwide. In layman’s terms, El Niño often brings unusually warm and wet conditions to some regions, while others may experience droughts or other extreme weather events. In times of crisis, having a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side can alleviate stress and uncertainty, allowing you to focus on rebuilding your business.

Storms Can Do Serious Damage to Businesses

El Niño is known for causing natural disasters, leaving many properties destroyed in its wake. The storm can wreak havoc on business properties in various ways, such as:

  • Flood damage: Inundation of water into buildings can lead to structural damage, including foundation weakening and wall collapse. Waterlogged inventory, equipment, and machinery may require extensive repairs or replacement, disrupting business operations. Mold growth resulting from prolonged moisture exposure can necessitate costly remediation efforts.
  • Wind damage: Strong winds can cause roof damage, including shingle loss, punctures, or even complete roof collapse. Broken windows and shattered glass can damage interior water and pose safety hazards to employees and customers. Falling trees or debris propelled by high winds can damage exterior walls, signage, and outdoor fixtures.
  • Power outages and electrical damage: El Niño storms can bring strong winds and heavy rainfall, which may lead to downed power lines and electrical outages. Businesses reliant on electricity for operations may experience disruptions, resulting in loss of productivity and potential damage to sensitive electronic equipment. Power surges caused by lightning strikes during storms can damage electrical systems, leading to costly repairs or replacements for wiring, circuitry, and appliances.
  • Lightning strikes: Direct lightning strikes can cause fires, resulting in extensive property damage, including structural destruction and loss of assets. Electrical systems, including wiring, circuitry, and electronic devices, may be damaged by power surges triggered by lightning strikes. Fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers and fire alarms, may be impaired, compromising the safety of the premises.
  • Soil erosion and landslides: Heavy rainfall associated with storms can trigger soil erosion and landslides on slopes or hillsides, threatening buildings and infrastructure. Landslides can undermine foundations, leading to structural instability and potential collapse. Property located near bodies of water or coastal areas may be susceptible to erosion, jeopardizing waterfront structures and land.

What To Do After El Niño Damages Your Business Property

Prompt action is essential if your business’s property sustains damage during an El Niño event. Start by documenting the damage thoroughly with photographs and written descriptions. Notify your insurance company immediately to initiate the claims process. Review your insurance policy to understand coverage limits, exclusions, and deductibles related to weather-related damage.

If the damage is extensive or if your insurance claim is disputed or denied, it’s time to involve a lawyer who specializes in business property damage claims. Signs that you might need legal assistance include complex insurance policies, disagreements with adjusters over coverage, or disputes with landlords or neighboring property owners regarding liability for the damage.

How Your Business Property Damage Lawyer Can Help

An experienced Los Angeles business property damage lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of property damage claims caused by El Niño or other natural disasters. Your attorney will review your insurance policy, assess the extent of your damages, and advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Your attorney will negotiate skillfully with insurance companies, contractors, and other parties involved in the claims process to maximize your recovery. They can also represent you in litigation if necessary, pursuing legal remedies such as breach of contract or bad faith insurance practices if your claim is unfairly denied or delayed.

Choose Peterson Law Group PC

If your Los Angeles business property has been damaged by El Niño or other severe weather events, don’t hesitate to contact us at Peterson Law Group PC. Our experienced business property damage attorneys are here to protect your business interests and maximize your recovery.

Call us at (213) 319-4993 today, and let’s see how we can help.

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