Smoke Damage after the California Wildfires: Flames Aren’t the Only Danger

Jan 11

Smoke Damage after the California Wildfires: Flames Aren’t the Only Danger

Most people fear the flames that consume everything on their way once a wildfire starts. The fire itself isn’t the only danger. Smoke and deadly gases can be lethal and they can also contribute to extensive property/agricultural damage.

The Damage Caused by Smoke

The smoke from the deadly California wildfires has caused damage on several fronts.

For a start, the chemicals from the fire will have a massive impact on grapevines and the taste of their production. All of the grape crop that wasn’t harvested prior to the disaster has been contaminated. As a result, the grapes can be expected to have an ashy taste that will obviously diminish the quality of the wine produced from them.

Property itself can also suffer from smoke in several distinctive ways.

Dry and wet smoke residue are most common. Whether powdery or smeared, the residue will accumulate and it will either be difficult or impossible to clean. Protein residue and residue from the fire extinction efforts also classify as smoke damage.

Cleaning, resurfacing and replacement are the three typical methods that can address smoke damage. Professional restoration will be required, especially when the damage is extensive and spread throughout a house or a commercial venue.

These are the tangible ways in which smoke’s effect is felt in the aftermath of a wildfire. It’s even more important to remember that the inhalation of the smoke can lead to severe health consequences. Wildfires lead to the exacerbation of respiratory diseases like asthma. In the worst cases, the poor quality of the air and the contamination can make it impossible for the brain to get sufficient amounts of oxygen and function properly. Headaches, nausea, fainting have all been observed in individuals exposed to wildfire smoke.

Dealing with Smoke Damage and Injuries

Wildfire insurance claims should also cover the damage caused by smoke. Insurance companies are responsible for providing coverage for the restoration, as long as there’s sufficient evidence of the destruction caused by the particles in the air and the harmful gases.

People who have suffered health consequences as a result of smoke inhalation need to visit a medical facility immediately. The treatment can prevent serious complications in the future. If you’re about to get medical assistance, you will need to get a report about the issue.

A medical report and evidence of damage could be used to sue parties that could have caused the fire with their negligence. Utility companies like PG&E and Edison are currently taking the blame for the California wildfires. Investigations are ongoing and the allegation is that the poor maintenance of electrical equipment has led to the fire.

Whether you plan to sue a utility company or you’re having troubles with an insurance claim, consulting an experienced attorney is of paramount importance. A legal professional will know what it takes to gather enough evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.

The Kalfayan Merjanian law team knows how devastating wildfires can be. As a result, we’re more than eager to represent our clients passionately. Please do not hesitate to contact the team today and have your most pressing questions answered for free.




Michael J. Stodolka works as an attorney for our Newport Beach office. Mr. Stodolka focuses on personal injury matters, including auto collisions, in both pre-litigation and litigation. He works closely with clients throughout all stages of a case, providing personal attention and developing case specific strategies to address the distinct needs and interests of each individual. Mr. Stodolka’s goal is to help each client achieve a maximum recovery from their injuries while maximizing financial compensation for past and future medical care, pain and suffering, and wage loss. Additionally, Mr. Stodolka is a certified mediator in the state of California. As such, he is able provide a unique perspective and insight to any mediation proceeding. TEL: (949) 287-4931 / FAX: (888) 400-6263 / MSTODOLKA@RKVMLAW.COM

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