Homeowners and property owners in the State of Texas who have experienced water damage or flooding caused by the wrongful actions of neighboring property owners may be eligible to file a lawsuit and recover damages.
Texas state regulations and laws make it illegal to cause excess runoff of water onto another person’s property. Individuals, groups, or companies whose actions cause water damage to nearby land, home, or property may be held responsible for their actions in a court of law.
If someone near your property has built an unauthorized dam or levee; built a canal or ditch to reroute a river, creek, or other natural body of water; or rerouted the flow of storm water from their property, they may be doing so in violation of the law. In fact, any construction on or alteration to property by a neighbor which increases the flow of water onto your property is potentially unlawful.
Types of Water Damage
Water damage caused by flooding or other sources can lead to costly and time-consuming repairs. Some of the most common types of water damage include:
- Flooding: Property owners who illegally divert or obstruct rivers, creeks, lakes, and other sources of surface water may cause flooding that can damage nearby land and property.
- Property Loss: Water damage doesn’t just affect the homes and buildings in which it occurs. Personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, electronic devices, and irreplaceable keepsakes may also be damaged by water, leading to expensive loss of property.
- Foundation Damage: Cracks, creaky floors, sticky doors and windows, moisture, broken bricks, and standing water in or around the building may be a sign of foundation damage caused by water or flooding. Foundation damage to a home or other building can be incredibly expensive to repair, even when it is detected early.
- Mold: Water damage can encourage the growth of mold in a building or home, which can pose serious and potentially deadly health risks. Signs of mold in a building may include strange odors, stained or discolored walls, and symptoms effecting the eyes, sinuses, and breathing.
- Soil Erosion: Runoff from a nearby property may cause soil erosion and other land damage to the surrounding land. Water damage to a building also may cause damage to the surrounding soil that could eventually cause foundation damage.
Insurance and Water Damage Restoration
Although some types of water damage may be covered by insurance, many insurance policies do not cover home or property damage caused by water or flooding. Without insurance coverage, homeowners and property owners who have experienced water damage may have difficulty restoring their property to its original condition and replacing their damaged belongings.
Even in cases when water damage to a home or other property is covered under the owner’s insurance policy, the insurance company may be unwilling to cover the full cost of repairing the damage or of replacing personal items and other property that was damaged. In technical terms, the insurer may only agree to cover the actual cash value of the property (cost minus depreciation), not its full replacement cost.
Water Damage Regulations in the Texas Water Code
Texas laws contain specific regulations regarding the illegal diversion and impounding of surface water in the state of Texas.
According to Section 11.086 of the Texas Water Code:
“(a) No person may divert or impound the natural flow of surface waters in this state, or permit a diversion or impounding by him to continue, in a manner that damages the property of another by the overflow of the water diverted or impounded.”
“(b) A person whose property is injured by an overflow of water caused by an unlawful diversion or impounding has remedies at law and in equity and may recover damages occasioned by the overflow.”
Get Help Filing Your Water Damage Claim From an Attorney
Although Texas law makes it illegal to cause water damage to the land or property of another person, it may be necessary for homeowners and property owners to file a lawsuit in court to recover their property losses. The first step to filing a lawsuit and recovering compensation for water damage is speaking with an experienced attorney with the resources to handle your case.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are trial attorneys in the truest sense of the word. The attorneys at our law firm has tried hundreds commercial litigation cases and other lawsuits to verdict, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson filed a lawsuit in January 2015 on behalf of Texas homeowners whose property was damaged as a result of water damage and flooding caused by a neighboring landowner. If your property has been damaged by flooding or runoff from another property, you may qualify to file a lawsuit and recover damages.
To obtain a free legal consolation about your case and find out if you might be eligible to file a water damage lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form.