Fire and Smoke Property Damage Attorney

California experiences several months of high temperatures each year. With this comes the possibility of severe wildfires. Wildfires could be very difficult to contain during the hot and dry summer months, especially since there has been a shortage of First Responders these last couple months.  If you have experienced any type of fire and smoke damage to your property in California, contact our accident attorneys immediately for a free consultation.

According to the California Fire Department:

  •       In 2022, California experienced 4,679 fires. The year is not even over and experts are predicting this may go well above 5,000.
  •       In 2022 so far, there have been 53,160 acres burned.
  •       In 2021, there were 5,568 fires.

What are the top 10 largest California fires?

According to the California Fire Department, the below fires caused very severe property damage and were the largest fires to date:

  •       August Complex: this was a fire that occurred in August 2020, and was caused by a lightning strike.
  •       Dixie Fire: this occurred in July 2021 and happened from a downed power line. There were around 1,000 structures that were burned down.
  •       Mendocino Complex: this occurred in July 2018, and happened in Mendocino and Glenn County.
  •       Scu lightning Complex: this fire occurred in August 2020, and was caused by a lightning strike.
  •       Creek Fire: this happened in September 2020, and affected Fresno and Madera County. To this day, First Responders still cannot determine the cause of the fire.
  •       Lnu Lightning Complex: this fire occurred in August 2020, and was caused by an arsonist.
  •       Thomas Fire: this was caused by downed fire lines in December 2017, and there were 1,000 structures burned down.
  •       Cedar Fire: this was caused by an arsonist in October 2003, and affected San Diego County.
  •       Rim Fire: this was caused by an arsonist, and occurred in August 2013.

If you had property damage caused by any of the above fires, contact our accident attorneys today to see how you can get compensation.

What is property damage?

Fires can cause severe damage to the property. The damage depends on the circumstances of the fire, such as the length of time the fire was burning and the type of fire. The different types of damage a fire could cause includes:

  •       Structural damage: this occurs when the house structure itself is burned down. Usually, when a house suffers structural damage, it has to be rebuilt entirely instead of repaired. One of the most common examples of structural damage includes a roof collapse. When a roof collapses, the entire house must be rebuilt.
  •       Smoke damage: smoke damage can not only affect insulation in the house, but it could also affect the items in the house. Smoke damage most likely will affect smaller spaces, such as closets and air vents.
  •       Water damage: water damage could result in mold, making the home unlivable. Water damage usually is caused by water as First Responders try to put out the fire. When many people think of property damage caused by fire, they usually only think of structural damage. Water damage is usually not thought about as damage caused by a fire.
  •       Interior damage: items inside the house could also be affected and severely damaged. Although objects are easily replaceable, you may have had some family heirlooms in your home such as old pictures or jewelry that has been handed down from generation to generation.
  •       Livestock damage: this is especially common in Northern California where many have had their livestock suffer from the fire. This potentially could also result in a loss of business if the homeowner relied on their livestock to maintain their business.

Home Insurance

Home insurance policies almost always involve wildfires and fire damage. However, there may be certain circumstances that may trigger a claim from the insured. If a fire was caused by arson, then you most likely will recover compensation. However, the circumstances differ depending on the cause of the fire. For example, if the fire was caused by natural causes, an insurance company may deny your claim.

For example, if the fire department has ruled that the fire was caused by special circumstances, then you most likely will not be able to recover compensation for your fire insurance claim.

What if the insurance company offered a low settlement amount?

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer a very low settlement amount initially. Insurance companies will always try to downplay the claim as much as possible, oftentimes even resorting to bad faith practices. For example, they may argue that the cause of the accident was not a cause covered by the policy. That is why it is important to file a claim with the insurance company while you are represented by an attorney. Our attorneys will be able to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company to make sure that your rights are represented.

What kind of damages could I recover from a fire damage claim?

  •       Property damage: this is one of the most common types of damage you could recover after a fire. This is usually the amount of money needed to repair or rebuild your house.
  •       Emotional distress: usually, experiences of fires may cause the insured to suffer some type of depression or PTSD, especially if someone’s home has been burned down right in front of their eyes. The insurance company may also payout for emotional distress.
  •       Burn injuries: victims could suffer first, second-, or third-degree burns.

Have you sustained property damage?

Contact our fire and smoke attorneys today to see how you can get compensated for the damages suffered. Many purchase insurance to be comfortable in the case of fire. However, in the case that a home insurance company acts in bad faith, you want to make sure that you have a trusted attorney on your side. The experienced attorney will be able to negotiate and communicate with your home insurance company to make sure that you have your rights represented, and you collect compensation for the property damage suffered.

An insurance company has a duty to act in good faith, this means that they cannot engage in bad faith practices such as delaying an investigation or failing to pay out a rightful claim. If you have been treated unfairly by your insurance company, contact our experienced insurance attorneys in California today to see how we can help you get the justice you deserve. It can be very stressful to have your house burned down in a fire, and especially even more stressful if your insurance company refuses to pay you out.

If you or your family were recently affected by a California fire, contact our attorneys today to schedule a consultation.  In California, you have the right to claim and recover compensation for your property damage suffered if it has been caused by another party.

If you have suffered any type of damage to your property, contact our attorneys at Megeredchian law to see if you can recover compensation for your property damage. Property damage could result in thousands of dollars in repairs, and one who has insurance expects the insurance to pay them out. Our attorneys are here to assist you in the case that the claim is denied, or an insurance company acts in bad faith. 

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