On July 13, 2021, a tree in Butte County’s Feather River Canyon area, fell against a PG&E power line sparking what has become known as the Dixie Fire. The Dixie Fire, which has burned over 1 million acres, is the second worst fire in California history and the nation’s largest fire so far this year.
The Dixie Fire leveled the town of Greenville, a Gold-Rush era mining town with more than 1,000 residents, destroying more than 1,300 homes, businesses, and other structures. The fire resulted in at least one death and an untold number of people with mental anguish and emotional distress. A lucky few residential structures were left standing, but for the most part the town was decimated. When asked whether they would rebuild, many long-time residents said they weren’t sure and didn’t know whether their homeowner’s insurance would cover the cost of rebuilding.
As the investigation into the cause of the fire continues, it is becoming more and more clear that PG&E is at fault. A federal judge overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation stemming from an earlier fire asked a PG&E employee who was near the scene of the incident when it started as to why he didn’t consider shutting off the power to the line while investigating the cause of the outage, which occurred in a high-fire-risk area. After the employee told the federal judge that it took him several hours to reach the site and tried to put out the fire, the judge said, “Your company is a convicted felon that poses a safety hazard to the State of California.” Incredibly, it took PG&E nearly 10 hours to respond to the initial signs of trouble on the early morning of July 13.
What Type of Damages is PG&E Responsible For?
If PG&E is found liable or admits liability, it will be responsible for a number of damages, including:
- COSTS OF REBUILDING YOUR HOUSE: When a house has been damaged or destroyed due to a fire or other calamity, many homeowners are shocked to learn that their insurance will not cover the full cost of rebuilding their home. When a house is destroyed by a fire or other tragedy, homeowner’s insurance typically covers the Fair Market Value of the house at the time it was destroyed. Insurance normally does not cover the cost of rebuilding the house from scratch, which can easily be two or more times the Fair Market Value of the house at the time it was destroyed. Many people are astounded to learn that their house was under-insured, or that they had no fire insurance coverage at all. If you are having trouble collecting all the money you are entitled to from your own insurance policy, we will assist you for free in seeing they pay their full share.
- LOST PROPERTY: In addition to paying you for the cost of rebuilding your house, the defendant must also compensate you for all of the property that was damaged or lost in the fire. For instance, if you had a car, farm equipment, or other machinery that was destroyed in the fire, you are entitled to be fully compensated for those losses. You are also entitled to collect damages for all of your trees, shrubbery, and other vegetation that was lost due to the fire.
- HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS: You are also entitled to be compensated for all of your household furniture, furnishings, televisions, computers, and other belongings that were lost in the fire. Some items do not have a simple monetary value on them but have priceless sentimental value, such as pictures from your wedding or awards or certificates for your achievements and you are entitled to be compensated for this loss.
- LOST INCOME AND WAGES: If you lost your job or otherwise were unable to work due to the damage caused by the Dixie Fire, you have the right to be full compensated for this loss.
- LOST BUSINESS: Business owners not only lose their structures but also their inventory as well as the clientele they serviced, all of which we will fight hard to get you reimbursed for.
- LOST PETS AND ANIMALS: If you had a pet that was lost or killed in the fire, you are entitled to be compensated for that loss, including its sentimental value. If you lost a work animal, such as a horse or a cow to the fire, you can recover damages for its replacement value.
- EMOTIONAL DISTRESS: We at TorkLaw are especially attuned to the mental anguish and emotional distress our clients go through in a tragedy such as a fire, and know how to present these injuries to an insurance adjuster or a jury.
- COST OF TEMPORARY HOUSING AND LIVING EXPENSES: Your costs in finding temporary shelter until your house can be restored to its pre-fire state or until you are fully compensated by the defendant for your losses.
Why You Shouldn’t Try To Handle This Claim Yourself
Representatives from PG&E and their insurance company might contact you soon after the fire and, among other things, tell you that you don’t need to hire a lawyer, that they will be fair with you. Don’t fall for this trap. Regardless of how sincere the representative or insurance adjuster appears to be, their goal is to settle the claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They will probably tell you that you’re better off not hiring a lawyer, as the lawyer will take 40% of any settlement or verdict he obtains for you, money that you would otherwise get. The truth is just the opposite: Studies consistently show that a person who is injured in a personal injury or property damage case ends up with more money in his pocket than a person who tries to handle the claim by himself, and this is true even after the lawyer’s fee is paid.
TorkLaw lawyers have decades of experience dealing with insurance adjusters and know all their tricks. But it is important for you to know that TorkLaw lawyers do not prepare a case for settlement; from the beginning they will prepare your case with the thoroughness needed to take the case to trial. Some law firms have the reputation of settling cases and not going to trial, and the insurance companies know they will talk their clients into accepting a low ball offer. TorkLaw attorneys, on the other hand, are dedicated to getting you the full compensation you deserve for your loss.
Why Hire TorkLaw
TorkLaw is one of the premiere personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage law firms in California. Its attorneys have received state and national recognition for their undaunting and relentless pursuit of full compensation for victims of injuries, deaths, and property damage, such as those due to the Dixie Fire.
No Recovery – No Fee
TorkLaw will represent you on a “contingency fee” basis, which means that we get paid only if we win a settlement or award for you. Additionally we will advance all costs for you, such as the cost of filings in court, investigators, expert witnesses, etc.
Contact TorkLaw Today
If you have lost your house, business, or otherwise been a victim of the Dixie Fire. you need an experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer like those at TorkLaw who know how to get you all the compensation you deserve. The experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at the offices of TorkLaw know what it takes to get you fully compensated for your injuries or loss. TorkLaw has offices across the country to provide victims with access to expert legal help.
If you are a victim of the Dixie Fire, contact the experienced lawyers at TORKLAW at 888-845-9696, or fill out our online contact form for your free case consultation today. The consultation is free and there is no obligation, so call today.