Richard J. Plaza has primarily focused his extensive litigation career on civil trials in both federal and state courts, trying numerous cases to verdict. He has participated in and tried over a hundred jury trials. He is one of only a very small percentage of Texas lawyers to be board certified twice. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has also been selected for membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Plaza obtained both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from Baylor University, earning accolades including Phi Delta Phi, Order of Barristers, and membership in the Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society.
Mr. Plaza has been admitted to practice in Texas, Mississippi, and Georgia, along with the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has participated in litigation in almost all 50 states. He has testified in committees of both the Texas House of Representatives and the State Senate on a wide range of laws that could impact both consumers and Texas families, including recreational use, maritime procedure, venue, community projects, construction projects, automobile tires, and more.
He is proudly married to his wife of 25 years, and enjoys being a father to their four daughters.
Awards and Honors
- Lifetime Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
- Top 100, Princeton Global Network, 2013-2015, Lifetime Member
- Second Highest Jury Verdict for Motor Vehicle, Top Verdicts of 2009, Texas Lawyer 2009
- Top Texas Lawyers, 2006 – 2013, Texas Monthly
- Life Member, Kingston’s National Registry of Who’s Who, 2002 Edition
- Texas Rising Star, 2004
- Texas Super Lawyer, 2005 – Present
- Houston’s Best Lawyers for the People, 2006.
- H Texas Magazine “Lawyer for the People,” 2005-2013
- Instrument rated commercial pilot for Single and Multi Engine Aircraft
In short, homeowners insurance is required by all banks for individuals and families to protect their homes and investments from dangers such as fire, theft, and natural disasters. However, these insurance companies don’t always operate on the level and can cause homeowners a lot of grief by acting in bad faith.
Homeowners Insurance Laws in Texas
In Texas, homeowners insurance is supposed to pay to repair or even replace your house and other personal property when they are damaged in any occurrence covered by your policy. As stated by the Texas Department of Insurance, “Texas has a Consumer Bill of Rights for homeowners and renters insurance” and most policies cover:
- Dwelling coverage – This means you are covered if your house is damaged or destroyed by an event covered by the policy.
- Loss of use coverage – Insurance must pay any additional living expenses associated with families who must temporarily move due to damage to their house, such as temporary housing, food, and other essential living expenses. The homeowners insurance can also pay part of the cost of dwelling coverage – which is often 10 to 20 percent – or for a predetermined period after the loss of home.
- Medical payments coverage – The insurance company must pay any medical bills of people who were hurt on your property, even if they aren’t part of the family. However, most basic homeowners insurance policies pay only $500 in medical bills, although there are options to buy more medical coverage, which may be a good idea if a family’s health insurance is lacking.
- Personal liability coverage – When someone is injured on your property as the result of a covered policy, your insurance is required to pay to defend you in lawsuits against the other parties. It even pays if you are found to be legally responsible for the injuries.
- Personal property coverage – This covers the items inside your house that have suffered damage including furniture, electronics, appliances, jewelry, flooring, drywall, electrical damage, and much more. This also includes items that are stolen.
- Other structures coverage – If a structure is on your property but not attached to the house, such as a detached garage, the homeowners insurance must pay to replace it, as well as all the items contained inside of it.
Homeowners Insurance Companies
Whenever a homeowner does have a legitimate claim, it can be bogged down, not taken seriously, or even outright denied. This is because the insurance company is putting their own financial profits first instead of looking out for their customers. They can often use complex and ambiguous statements, as well as lengthy contracts full of legal jargon. When it comes to delaying or denying coverage for homeowners, it essential that families have an attorney on their side to help them navigate the process and hold the companies accountable for enforcing their policies.
Get Help From Houston Homeowners Insurance Attorneys
Our firm relies on our decades of experience in dealing with homeowners insurance companies. We are familiar with the distraction tactics they may use, as well as how to get the best result for our clients in a minimal amount of time.