BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - People who have suffered devastating home and property losses during a disaster are often targeted by unscrupulous contractors, fly-by-night home repair scammers, and other con artists.
This is known as disaster fraud and some Louisiana flood survivors are being swindled, but FEMA has a program that can help.
Disaster Legal Services (DLS) provides free legal assistance to low-income survivors who aren't able to hire an attorney for issues after a declared disaster. Members of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLA) will counsel, advise, and provide legal representation in cases that don't generate a fee.
Survivors should be aware that there are some limitations on disaster legal services. For example, assistance is not available for cases that will produce a fee (i.e., cases where fees are paid as part of a court settlement). Such cases are referred to a lawyer referral service.
DSL has assisted thousands of survivors with post-disaster related matters including:
- Insurance claims for doctor and hospital bills.
- Claims for property loss or loss of life.
- Drawing up new wills or other legal papers
- Help with home repair contracts and contractors.
- Advice on problems with landlords.