California Wildfires Attorney
California Wildfires Attorney

Recovering Your Losses After A California Wildfire

When a fire rips through your community and takes everything that you have

Wildfires Loss

Recovering Your Losses After A California Wildfire

When a fire rips through your community and takes everything that you have worked so hard for, it can be devastating on an emotional and physical level. These California fires have ravished the land, ruined homes, and destroyed businesses, leaving you and your loved ones stranded and without shelter. And, you deserve compensation for your losses.

Your Right To A Settlement

These losses can be recovered by filing a lawsuit against PG&E and Edison for their alleged involvement in the California fires. To date, four lawsuits have been filed against Edison for the fires with many more expected in the near future. You have a right to a settlement under the law against these companies above and beyond your insurance claim. This can help begin the healing process for you and your family and help you move forward with the rebuilding process.

In addition to filing a lawsuit against PG&E and Edison, you have a right to file a fire claim with your insurance company from your home or business losses. These insurance companies can provide you recovery of the damages you have endured, but not for the emotional suffering you have undergone from losing everything. This is where filing a lawsuit against PG&E and Edison can help you receive a financial settlement to ease the pain and suffering you have gone through from being a victim of a California fire.

Start The Rebuilding Process

Your home or business may beyond repair, and the property it is located on may be ravished. Rebuilding may be a considerable effort that needs to comply with guidelines enacted by the local and state government. This may make it impossible to rebuild with the settlement you have received from an insurance company. You need the compensation you deserve from those that were responsible for the fires and filing a lawsuit can help provide this financial assistance.

The value of your home or business may have been greatly reduced because a fire has destroyed your entire community. The insurance claim adjusters that survey your damage may place a low value on rebuilding your property and the belongings that you have lost. This will not provide you the recovery you need to rebuild a home of the same value or recreate the business establishment you have lost. You need a proper value for your property and full recovery for your losses. A settlement for a fire lawsuit can help provide you solace after a fire disaster and filing a lawsuit can mean the difference in whether you are able to rebuild your home or business after these devastating events.

When you are a victim of a California fire, you need the help of an attorney that can provide you legal guidance on recovering your losses. The lawyers at Kalfayan Merjanian can provide the legal assistance you need to file a lawsuit against PG&E and Edison for their alleged involvement in the fire that destroyed your home or business. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.



Collect Evidence

The first thing to do after getting to disaster site is to assess the damage. For best results, bring a camera or a smartphone along. Pictures and videos of the immediate property condition can give you the evidence needed to demand fair insurance compensation after a wildfire. This is also the time when you should begin drafting an insurance claim journal that will feature all the vital data.

Contact the Insurance Company

It’s difficult to emphasize the importance of getting in touch with your insurance agent as soon as possible. The claims process starts once you establish that first contact. In the case of wildfire damage, insurance companies deal with thousands of claims, so calling them right away will speed your claim. When you call, an adjuster will be assigned to your case.

Remove Debris/Minimize Damage

Refrain from doing cleanup before the adjuster visits the site. The only exception is for debris or damaged structures that will pose a danger or contribute to additional property destruction. In such instances, you can perform minor cleanup. Always use a camera or video to document the original condition of the property before getting started with safety removals. The photos and videos should be available during the insurance adjuster’s visit.

Work with an Adjuster

Adjusters are responsible for documenting the loss and assessing the scope of the damage. You have to be present at the venue when the adjuster arrives to carry out an inspection. The losses will be documented thoroughly, establishing the settlement amount a homeowner will be offered. On occasions, the insurance company’s adjuster may come up with a number that’s too law. In such instances, homeowners should either consider hiring public adjusters who aren’t employed by insurance companies or getting in touch with an experienced attorney.

Assess the Scope of Work

The scope of work is a detailed plan that will give you an idea about the most important processes to complete for the purpose of restoring the property. If you don’t have the knowledge and the experience to assess the scope of work on your own, you should either visit the property site with a contractor or a public adjuster. The stages of restoration work will also be determined this way.

Find the Right Contractor

Restoring your property is all about hiring an experienced, knowledgeable team to handle all of the tasks. Finding the right contractor is going to be a challenge in the aftermath of a widespread natural disaster. Still, take your time, check references and ask for referrals before hiring anyone. Contractors who get in touch with you or rush you into a signing an agreement should make you suspicious.

Communicate with Insurer & Save Receipts

Communicate with the insurance company on a regular basis and enter all of the information in your claim journal. Keep receipts of the cleanup or hazard elimination work you have done for the purpose of communicating these costs with the insurer later on. If correspondence with the insurance company is taking place via email, save these digital logs. The level of documentation should be similar to getting ready for a lawsuit or an audit.

Get Professional Assistance

If you believe that the insurance company is postponing the provision of financial compensation or that you’re being offered an amount that’s too low, you should get in touch with an experienced attorney. A lawyer will represent your interests, negotiating with the insurance company and getting started with a lawsuit upon necessity. While some homeowners worry about the cost of legal assistance, the financial implications are going to be much more serious in the case of unfair compensation or a denied insurance claim.


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Do I have a wildfire personal injury or property loss claim?

Whenever a link can be established between someone’s negligence and the injuries or property loss you experienced, there can be a claim. Your California wildfire attorney’s goal would be to seek evidence and expert testimonies that will result in a better understanding of the wildfire that contributed to devastation in your region and to build a strong case for you.


Do electric companies have a history of causing wildfires in California?

In 1994, PG&E was found guilty of over 730 counts of negligence in connection to a wildfire in Nevada County. The fire that destroyed 12 homes resulted from omissions in PG&E’s tree cutting program. The total fine was approximately $30 million. In 2015, the utility company was fined for its contribution in the so-called Butte Fire that destroyed 549 homes and led to two casualties. While PG&E had to pay serious fines, over 1,000 lawsuits are still pending. A fine was also imposed for the 2010 San Bruno explosion.


Why do I need an attorney if I have insurance?

Often, problems with insurance claims arise in the aftermath of California wildfires. Many homeowners are not fully insured and are unaware of the extent of the compensation they might receive. In addition, insurance companies may award unfair amounts to cut their losses. Whenever an insurance company denies a claim or offers a settlement that seems unjust, it’s wise to seek assistance from experienced California wildfire attorneys.


How much can I recover in the aftermath of a wildfire?

There is no exact formula when it comes to calculating wildfire victims’ compensation. Each case is unique and California wildfire attorneys examine multiple factors. The extent of injuries and property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering must all be considered. Estimates might be made by reviewing similar cases, but those award amount are a guideline for potential compensation, rather than representative figures of what to expect.


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