Who Pays For Storm Cleanup If It’s Not Your Fault?

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RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) – Clean up is underway after this week’s wild weather.

Many times the biggest headache isn’t dealing with damage — it’s trying to figure out who is going to pay for it.

CBS 11’s Consumer Justice Unit looked into this after a retaining wall fell and crushed cars at an apartment complex in Fort Worth Wednesday night.

They wanted to know if the owner of the complex was responsible for paying for the damage or the individual car owners.

According to Ben Patterson, owner of Patterson and Associates Insurance in Richardson, you can’t blame the property owner if it’s an act of God.

Patterson said fixing it would fall on the owners of the vehicles.

CBS 11’s Cristin Severance then asked Patterson what would happen if you can prove a property owner was negligent in some way.

“Well, we would pay the claim, but if we felt there was an opportunity to where we could subrogate then we would look at the opportunity then as far as holding the person accountable. If there was any kind of negligence that caused the loss to happen,” said Patterson.

Subrogate means an insurance company goes after a third party to pay for a claim.

Bottom line, in a weather event it’s almost always going to fall on homeowners or vehicle owners to pay for the damage.

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