Natural disasters can be completely devastating — especially for those living in or around Shasta County. Many people are unaware that an experienced personal injury attorney can help them to obtain compensation after a wildfire. A Redding CA lawyer can assist you in recovering funds for property damage, injuries, and fatalities due to wildfires.
When people think of a personal injury attorney in Redding, they might first think about the 3 million people that are injured in car accidents every year in the U.S. — rather than wildfire losses and injuries. But considering that this area is particularly prone to this kind of destruction, it’s comforting to know that you don’t have to face the outcomes alone. If you, a loved one, or your property is damaged in a wildfire, a personal injury attorney may be able to help.
Wildfires: The Facts
Wildfires are considered a fact of life in California, much like hurricanes are considered a fact of life on the East Coast. In 2018, more than 22,000 buildings were destroyed by wildfires. Humans are largely responsible, at least in part, for these fires. It is believed, according to the National Park Service, that most fires start accidentally because of human interactions. These might include leaving a campfire burning, throwing down a lit cigarette, or using fireworks. In some cases, the fires are blamed on arson (or an intentional setting of a fire).
The costs of wildfires are tremendous. The estimated costs of wildfires in 2018 equaled $400 billion in damages and about $1 billion for California firefighters. Of course, there can be no value determined for the loss of life in these cases.
A personal injury attorney can help you to recoup your costs. For example, a Redding CA lawyer can step in for you and fight the insurance company when they do not want to pay for damages associated with wildfires. In addition, a lawyer can help if the insurance company is offering a settlement that does not actually represent your property value.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself and Your Family During a Wildfire?
It is tragic to watch on the news — or worse yet, to experience that ravages of a wildfire firsthand. Being prepared to act is one of the best ways to make sure you and your family do not fall victim to the fires.
Before fire season is underway, make sure you have the number of a trusted personal injury attorney on your phone. If you should find yourself in a situation where your home is being threatened and you have limited access to the internet, you’ll want to make sure you have the contact information for a good attorney in case you need it.
Being ready is one of the best ways to survive a wildfire. Here are some tips:
- Do not allow the dried brush to stay around your house. Clear dried leaves, branches and grasses away from your home.
- Practice fire drills with your family. Have a plan in place in case you have to get out quickly. Designate a safe area to meet in case you are separated.
- Prepare an emergency kit and keep in handy in case you need to evacuate quickly. Keep important documents in a fireproof safe, to ensure you can get to them.
- Leave! When the evacuation order comes through, leave. It is hard to go and leave your home behind, but you can get another home; you cannot replace a life.
- Keeping your family safe must be a priority. Most injuries and fatalities from wildfires come from people waiting too long to leave or trying to put out the fires themselves to save their homes. Prepare in advance, but do not wait to leave.
If You Need Help
If you have been the victim of a wildfire, please contact Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel. We are here to help you get the justice you deserve.