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Forensic Fire Claims

VERTEX’s forensic fire claim services include investigating the origin & cause of damage from fire and explosions.

Only highly experienced professionals can perform the complex tasks of uncovering the origin and cause of a fire or explosion. By evaluating the circumstances surrounding what happened and why, VERTEX is able to provide our clients with the technical expertise needed for them to determine coverage in a timely manner, reduce claim costs, combat fraud, and ultimately achieve closure with a solid, court defensible understanding of events and outcomes.


Fire Origin & Cause

Using a full-service approach and in a manner consistent with the Scientific Method and guidelines of NFPA 921, our NFPA 1033 qualified experts apply the highest level of professional competence in their investigative skills and techniques. VERTEX provides evidence collection, chain of custody as well as incident reporting, providing our customers with a solid and reliable determination of origin and cause that will withstand the challenges of litigation.


Failure Analysis

Through scientific analysis, VERTEX can quickly and accurately determine whether the root cause of the fire or explosion was due to an electrical or mechanical component, human error, natural events, or arson.


Fire Investigation Liability, Subrogation & Litigation Support

VERTEX experts assist the insurance client and litigator by having highly trained and qualified professionals conduct site investigations that can determine the potential existence of third-party culpability. VERTEX experts are experienced in reporting, depositions, and court testimony regarding fire and explosion incidents.


Vehicle and Marine Fire Loss Investigations

Our experts are available to not only investigate the origin and cause of structure fires but also fires that have taken place in motor vehicles, trucks, industrial equipment, and marine vessels.


Property Loss Evaluations

VERTEX’s forensic experts have provided damage assessment services for some of the largest and most complicated property loss cases in the Western United States for property owners, insurance companies, and law firms.

Whether the loss is a result of natural causes, accident, or negligence, our property loss specialists are armed with extensive real-world industry experience in order to deliver damage assessment reports that reflect a true picture of what it will take to return the property to its pre-loss condition.

VERTEX’s damage assessment team specializes in providing accurate, credible, and professionally prepared property loss evaluations and cost of repair or replacement estimates. Backed by expert testimony, our opinions have been tested – and proven successful – in numerous mediations, depositions, arbitrations, and at trial.


Pre-Loss Damage Assessment Research

VERTEX’s forensic professionals perform studies to determine what existed before the property loss event. By gathering data utilizing a vast number of resources such as photos, satellite imagery, prior appraisals, MLS listings, permit records, on-site investigations, and interviews, VERTEX helps establish the general understanding of the property prior to the disaster & the extent of the damage.


Scope of Loss Determination

Perhaps the most critical step in property loss evaluation. While some assume this is determining the scope of damage and loss, this also includes an in-depth scope of repair. A properly developed scope of repair becomes the foundation for an accurate and credible property loss evaluation report since it determines the level of work necessary to return the property to its pre-loss condition.

Utilizing our broad knowledge of building construction, building design, building code compliance, and our holistic multi-disciplined approach to understanding the inter-relationship of the systems involved in construction, VERTEX’s Damage Assessment team is often able to identify and understand elements of loss that evade more estimate-driven consultants.


Quantification and Estimate Development

VERTEX’s property loss consultants are able to prepare complete quantity surveys for our forensic cost engineering team to develop the cost of repair and replacement. The estimate brings together the steps described above into a comprehensive and accurate evaluation of the cost to restore the structure(s) to their true pre-loss condition. Our unit costs come from a combination of actual trade contractor or general contractor proposals, nationally recognized unit cost databases, actual cost history and experience in similar projects, detailed productivity analyses, and labor and materials price studies.


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Fire Loss Experts

Ted Bumgardner