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Claiming Injuries Sustained in California Wildfires

Forest BurnedWildfires ignite due to a variety of causes. Fires frequently begin during lightning storms, when lightning strikes a dry, grassy area or tree. Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases start because of someone’s recklessness or other negligence. A cigarette carelessly tossed from a passing vehicle onto a dry median, kids playing with fireworks without adult supervision, and even businesses failing to manicure their landscaping away from power lines are all potential situations that could result in a fire.

When the flames get out of control, officials ask residents to evacuate to protect them from smoke inhalation and other injuries. Evacuation does not guarantee complete safety, however, because wildfires consume homes, land, and anything else in its path. Victims of fires typically have grounds to file claims against those found guilty of starting the blaze.

What to Expect After a Fire

The first step a homeowner should take after sustaining damages from a wildfire is to notify the homeowner's insurance company. Next, victims should contact an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will then contact the insurance company informing them that you have legal representation, which effectively pressures them into taking your claim seriously. Your lawyer will then begin investigating your case to identify the negligent parties and determine the severity of the damages. In many cases, clients are surprised to discover the negligent party is a local business. Past negligent parties include:

  • Railroad companies;
  • Construction contractors;
  • Loggers;
  • Utility companies; and
  • Oil companies.
Underinsured Homeowners

All too often we find that homeowners do not carry enough to adequately cover the losses suffered at the hands of an out of control wildfire. Additionally, insurance adjusters are well-trained in minimizing the cost to their company. The cost of rebuilding a home in today’s market, as well as replacing the personal property inside and the replacement of lost or damaged landscaping, typically far exceeds the amount offered by the insurance company. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover the remainder of the damages.

Factors Worth Considering

Although the fire may cause damage to a home worth a set appraised amount, the loss often extends far beyond the reach of the home structure. Consider how the fire affected the following elements of your life:

  • Destruction of residential landscaping;
  • Agricultural losses;
  • Vegetation damage;
  • Home structure;
  • Personal property;
  • Evacuation expenses;
  • Loss of work; and
  • Annoyance and discomfort.
A Rise in Wildfire Prevalence

The prevalence of wildfires increases each year, destroying countless lives. Victims should not be financially accountable for the damage caused by someone else’s recklessness. A Salinas personal injury attorney can help recover the money you need to rebuild your life and begin looking forward to the future. The attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P will comb through every detail of your case and aggressively defend your claim. Let our team of experts help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Call us now at (408) 298-7200 to take your life back.

Client Reviews
I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
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