In California, it is not uncommon for individuals and businesses to be impacted by devastating wildfires. More than 7,000 wildfires were reported in 2017, with over 500,000 acres of land destroyed.
More recently, the Mendocino Complex Fire has destroyed more than 360,000 acres and countless homes as of the time of this writing. A firefighter tragically lost his life while fighting the fire, and there’s no doubt that many other injuries have occurred. This fire is now considered to be the largest in California’s recorded history.
For victims, wildfires may bring up concerns about recovering financial compensation for injuries related to the fires. Can injury claims be filed for wildfires? Below, we discuss what you should do if you suffer a wildfire injury and how you can obtain the compensation you’ll need to move forward.
Going Through Your Insurance Company
When you are injured during or because of a wildfire, you should first seek medical attention for your injuries. Once you are out of harm’s way and stable, reach out to a personal injury lawyer who can review the details of your case and determine who is liable for your damages. You’ll more than likely need to begin by going through your own insurance company.
Homeowners insurance will often cover injuries that occur due to accidental house fires, but wildfires are often excluded from policies—particularly in fire-prone areas like California. This is why it’s important to check your policy even if a wildfire isn’t currently threatening your home. Find out whether you’ll be covered now to save hassle and stress later.
Even if wildfires are covered in your insurance policy, the insurer may still try to deny your claim. When that happens, it may be time to contact a qualified attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you negotiate or file a claim against your insurer.
Filing a Civil Suit Against the At-Fault Party
California wildfires are often caused by a combination of dry vegetation and extreme heat, lightning, and human action (such as flicking a burning cigarette, kids playing with matches, downed power lines, and arson).
In cases where human negligence is responsible for causing the injuries you sustained, you may have the opportunity to recover your damages when you file a civil claim against the person who is responsible for starting the fire.
Your attorney will help you determine the financial value of your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, disfigurement or scarring, damage to your earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, property damage, and other frequently sought losses. This will help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for all you’ve been through.
Speak with an Experienced Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer
Being exposed to a wildfire can be traumatizing. It can be even more difficult to overcome when you endure a severe injury that could have been prevented if it weren’t for the negligent actions of another person. When you’re ready to pursue the compensation you’re entitled to, speak with a qualified Orange County personal injury lawyer at Dickson Kohan & Bablove, LLP.
Our firm is passionate about helping injury survivors pick up the pieces of their lives. You can schedule your free case review today by calling our office at 1-844-404-2400 or by filling out the quick contact form we’ve provided below.