State = Missouri
My question is, how do I go about documenting things *in the event* that I end up having to sue my insurance company?
Background - Major hail storms him my area March 2nd, with the National Weather Service reporing up to 2 and 1/2" size hail stones. After a few days I noticed roofing signs going up around the neighborhood so I contacted three contractors to look at the roof. All three said I had hail damage, along with wind damage (falling tree limbs etc) and that I should file a claim.
I filed the claim, but the adjuster could not come out for two weeks (I would later find out that he picked this date because his bosses were both on vacatoin that week). When he did arrive I had one of the roofing contractors meet him, they clearly recognized each other and there were clearly bad feelings between them. What transpried next (as far as evidence I'm gathering) is I have security camera footage that shows that the adjuster spent a total of 7 minutes on my roof, then denied my claim because the damage was caused by "algae".
Following the advice of my insurance agent I called the company and complained about the adjuster and his rudeness and attitude, they agreed to send out someone for a 2nd opinion. They sent a forensic engineering company to write a study of the roof. I would later lookup the engineer in Missouri's Case.Net system and find that he's got 3 pages of lawsuits against him. Anyway, I was told it was going to take 2 weeks for the report and that 3 people would be going over his evidence to write it. After 3 weeks the insurance company finally provided a copy of the report, when I found out that the report had been written 3 days after the engineer's visit and his was the only name on it.
Not surprisingly at this point, the engineer is claiming that the hail that fell was not of sufficiant size to cause *any* damages and that the damages to my roof were a combonation of moss and a manufacture's defect. His included evidence photos are the biggest joke I've ever seen. He took pictures of things like downspouts and windows from the opposite directoin of the storm (protected surfaces). His photo's of the dented roof vents are zoomed in on the smaller dents and do not show the big dents. In one section he talks about the metal gutter covers and how they are not dented in his photo, but the photo is of a 3 foot section on the back of the house, again from the opposite directoin of the storm, and he makes no referances to the damaged sections where the tree limbs fell, and the front gutter section that's over 20ft long with dents all over it, etc. I feel this report is "falsified" in that he ommitted relevant and material information. I have taken my own photo's of the damages and have even taken photo's that show how his were zoomed and left out the bigger dents.
Since he did include the wording about a manufacture's defect, I have contacted them and submitted a claim with the warrenty program. They are going to test samples of the roof and then decide what to do.
Getting back to my orginal question, I'm concerned that the manufacturer is going to say that these roof shingles are hail damaged and refuse to pay. The Insurance company has already stated their position as "no damage, won't pay".
I think my steps are to prove that the Engineer created his report in such a way as to leave out important facts and photos, I've contacted a few companies on my own and have found the costs to having my own report done. I'm currently holding security camera footage of the storm, photographs of the damages to various surfaces around my house, including the roof, and copies of all emails with my insurance company and agent, along with copies of the report and photographs.
What other things should I be documenting? What is the best way to go about finding a lawyer who can help me?