Northern California Wildfires
As climate change intensifies, wildfires are becoming more common, especially in California. The 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California claimed 85 lives, forced 52,000 people to evacuate, and did $16.5 billion in damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The 2019 California wildfires forced more than 200,000 residents to evacuate and burned 4.6 million acres. The 2017 blazes scorched 10 million acres and took 23 lives.
These wildfires threaten millions of people and have left hundreds of thousands of Californians reeling from devastating injuries and property losses, unsure where to turn.
The California wildfire lawyers at Morgan & Morgan are dedicated to helping people recover compensation for their losses. Ours is the largest personal injury firm in America, and if you’ve been wounded in a wildfire, we may be able to help you recover the compensation you are owed.
What to Do After a California Wildfire
If you suffered injuries, property damage, or the loss of a loved one in a wildfire, it’s vital that you take these steps to protect your rights:
- Document Everything. From medical records and bills to exchanges with the insurance company, hold on to every piece of evidence to bolster your claim.
- Make Note of Your Losses. Write down everything you’ve lost in the fire. All items that were destroyed or damaged should be covered by your policy.
- Explore Your Legal Options. Be sure to contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney soon after the fire to curb the risk of the insurance company delaying, denying, or lowballing your claim.
How Wildfire Insurance Works
If your homeowners insurance includes wildfire coverage, you pay your premiums each month with the reasonable expectation that you’ll receive help if you suffer losses in a wildfire. Unfortunately, the insurance company may not hold up its end of the bargain when disaster strikes.
Insurance companies have a legal requirement to process claims fairly, even if they lose money in the process. If, for example, you lose your home in a wildfire, chances are, they will lose money. For this reason, claims adjusters sometimes act in bad faith. These are some of the tactics they may use to turn a greater profit:
- Misrepresent your policy
- Manipulate their findings
- Delay your claim
- Deny your claim
- Lowball your claim (offering you a small fraction of what you fairly deserve)
If you suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith, a California wildfire attorney at Morgan & Morgan may be able to help you recover the compensation you are owed.
Potential Wildfire Damages
If you or a loved one was injured in a California wildfire, you may be entitled to compensation for the following damages:
- Property damage/property loss
- Lost wages or diminished earning capacity
- Past and future medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Emotional distress
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
- Funeral expenses (in the event of a loved one’s death)
Speak to a California Wildfire Lawyer
The California wildfire lawyers at Morgan & Morgan understand how to identify when an insurance provider is acting in bad faith — and how to hold them accountable. A member of our firm, Ben Wilson, is a lead attorney in the wildfire case against PG&E (filed in response to the 2017 Northern California wildfires).
If you or someone you love was injured, lost property, or suffered any other damages in a wildfire, contact us to learn if you are owed compensation. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost to get started, and we get paid only if you win. Click here for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.