The Mosquito Fire has destroyed thousands of acres of land and dozens of homes in El Dorado and Placer County, and has yet to be contained. Our California Wildfire Attorneys are actively investigating the blaze and assisting victims who suffered damages due to the fire.
If you have suffered losses from the Mosquito fire, Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel, LLP, is here to help. We have handled thousands of claims for victims of preventable wildfires. We will work with you to help determine how you should be compensated for your losses in this tragedy. For more information, reach out to a Mosquito fire attorney.
We Are Investigating the Causes of the Mosquito Fire
What caused the Mosquito Fire? Six weeks after the Mosquito Fire started in early September, the United States Forest Service announced that it was 100 percent contained. Unfortunately, before containment occurred, the blaze ripped through the foothills east of Sacramento, destroying dozens of homes. The fire is believed to have resulted from contact between Pacific Gas & Electricity (PG&E) electrical lines and vegetation.
If you lost your home in the Mosquito Fire, you could seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your loss through a claim against PG&E. An experienced Mosquito Fire lawyer from Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel can tell you more about this process and the services they can provide to assist you in seeking the compensation you need.
If someone else is responsible for a fire that destroyed your home or business, we can help.
Fire damage lawsuits can not only help you recover your losses, but also make sure that the people responsible for starting the fire are held responsible. These lawsuits can force them to take preventative measures so other people don’t experience the same catastrophe in the future.
The Mosquito Fire started on September 6, 2022, near the Oxbow Reservoir, near the town of Foresthill, in the Tahoe National Forest. During its first two weeks, the fire jumped the Middle Fork of the American River twice, once from north to south and then from south to north. The fire consumed 76,788 acres in Placer and El Dorado counties, around 120 square miles. In the midst of shifting wind conditions, residents from Foresthill, Georgetown, Volcanoville, and other smaller communities were evacuated.
The fire destroyed 78 buildings in its path, mostly homes. Around 500 firefighters fought the blaze, which damaged 13 other buildings. No serious injuries or deaths were reported as a result of the blaze. On October 22, 2022, the U.S. Forest Service reported that the fire was 100 percent contained. For more information, reach out to a Mosquito Fire attorney.
Officials from PG&E claimed on September 8 that they had not noticed anything abnormal with the pole before the fire broke out but had filed a report with the Public Utilities Commission about the pole “out of an abundance of caution.”
It’s Not the First Time PG&E’s Equipment Started a Fire
PG&E is no stranger to having its equipment blamed for wildfires in California. In 2019, the company filed for bankruptcy after a series of large wildfires erupted due to its equipment, including the 2018 Camp Fire, which leveled the town of Paradise on its way to becoming the most deadly fire in the state’s history.
PG&E’s equipment was also found to have started the Dixie Fire, which burned more than one million acres in Northern California, as well as the Kincade Fire that burned in Sonoma County in 2019. The company is also facing criminal charges for the 2020 Zogg Fire in Shasta County that resulted in four deaths.
As reported by PBS, in all, PG&E was blamed for more than 30 wildfires since 2017, which have wiped out a combined total of 23,000 homes and businesses, and have resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people. The company has reached settlements with the victims of these fires of more than $25.5 billion.
Earlier this spring, a $55 million settlement helped the company avoid being criminally prosecuted for the Dixie and Kincade fires and also included a provision that the company submit to five years of oversight by an independent monitor. This outcome is similar to the supervision that PG&E was ordered to undergo after being convicted of misconduct following a 2010 natural gas explosion that killed eight people.
Lawsuits Filed Against PG&E for the Mosquito Fire
Recently, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against PG&E in state court in San Francisco due to the Mosquito Fire. The lawsuit alleges that the company has “a history of acting recklessly and with conscious disregard to human life and safety, and this history of recklessness and conscious disregard was a substantial factor in bringing about the Mosquito Fire.” At the time of the suit’s filing, the company noted in an emailed statement that Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service had not yet decided on the cause of the Mosquito Fire and that PG&E is focused on reducing the risk of wildfire throughout its entire service area.
According to an attorney representing the claimants, in that case, the company’s insurance provider will likely cover most of the damages caused by the fire. If those damages exceed $1 billion, PG&E can also seek money from the state’s wildfire insurance fund. In all, the company itself is not likely to pay more than “a few hundred million” to compensate victims of the fire, which is unlikely to even make a dent in its profit margin.
The Process for Obtaining Compensation After the Mosquito Fire
Hiring an Experienced California Wildfire Lawyer
A California wildfire lawyer brings experience to your claim and a deep understanding of the expenses incurred when someone’s home—and everything in it—is destroyed by wildfire. While the company wants to control the process and determine how much it should pay to claimants, a lawyer understands how much the claim is worth and the types of expenses the company is legally required to pay.
Determining the Value of Your Claim
Fires can cause damage to a structure, even if it is not immediately visible, due to the extreme heat of the blaze. Those whose homes were near the fire need to inspect the premises to look for unseen damage. The liable party’s insurance provider is responsible for restoring the home to a uniform and consistent appearance in both the exterior and interior. This means the homeowner is entitled to have damaged features replaced or repaired in a way that aesthetically matches the undamaged portions of the home.
Coverage is available for more than the damage to the structure for those suffering partial or complete property loss due to the fire. Claimants can seek compensation for damage to the home’s contents, as well as compensation for the additional living expenses they incurred as a result of the fire, such as the cost of obtaining a rental unit to live in until the home can be repaired or replaced, or the cost of a rented vehicle due to the resident’s car being destroyed in the blaze.
An experienced California wildfire lawyer can help determine the claim’s value based on your incurred expenses.
Demanding Compensation for Your Losses
While PG&E states that it has developed a claims process for those whose homes and property were damaged or destroyed by the Mosquito Fire “that helps individuals easily navigate the claims process and gets money into the hands of claimants as quickly as possible,” the problem with this program is that the claimants are at the mercy of PG&E’s insurer’s claims adjusters to fairly compensate them for their losses.
PG&E is not in the business to compensate people for their losses; it is the business to make money. One of the ways PG&E protects its bottom line is by keeping fire damage claims as low as possible.
By having a Mosquito Fire lawyer on your side through the process, you can rest assured that your claim has been properly valued to reflect all of the losses you have experienced and that an experienced professional will present your claim to the company along with documented proof of your losses.
Negotiating a Settlement
Insurance providers and large companies such as PG&E bank on those who have been harmed to have trust that they’re serving their best interests. Their claims adjusters will offer quick settlements based on a formula that takes little account of the personal nature of the losses incurred under the guise of making things right with the community.
However, an experienced California wildfire lawyer can help you understand the value of your claim and what constitutes a fair settlement for your claim so that you are in a better position to determine if the offered out-of-court settlement is fair. Your attorney can negotiate with the claims adjuster to convince them to increase their offer.
Filing a Lawsuit
If PG&E fails to properly compensate your claim, it can be filed in court as a property damage lawsuit. This is a legal claim filed in civil court that asks the court to review the claim and determine if the company is responsible for the losses suffered by the claimant and, if so, how much compensation should be paid to the claimant.
The statute of limitations for most property damage claims in California is three years from the date the damage occurred. This date is extremely important, as failing to submit your lawsuit within this period will usually result in losing your right to use the court process when seeking compensation for your losses.
Unfortunately, suppose you no longer have the right to sue to obtain compensation. In that case, the company and its insurance company will likely refuse to entertain settlement conversations as well, as they no longer face legal consequences if they don’t resolve the claim.
A Mosquito Fire lawyer can manage the timing of your claim to ensure that your right to file a lawsuit to obtain the compensation you need is intact.
Why Work With Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel?
At Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel, we represent clients in northern California and beyond. For more than 40 years, we’ve won millions for our deserving clients- including those who suffered losses during wildfires. We won the largest single plaintiff jury verdict in Shasta County history and obtained more than $600 million for our clients.
Representing families who have suffered losses from wildfires is what we do.
We are experienced trial lawyers with a winning history and have helped hundreds of clients in similar situations get their lives back on track after an unforeseen disaster. To find out if you have a case, contact us today for your no-obligation case evaluation.
Representing families who have suffered losses due to wildfires is what we do.
Studies estimate that 97 percent of the wildfires that impact California homes and businesses are human-caused. Even when a company is not necessarily lax about safety rules, it can still be liable for physical harm or property damage caused to others due to its equipment.
Unfortunately, massive corporations like PG&E are often quick to pledge money in the name of restoring a community but rarely willing to fully and fairly compensate all claims. Having our attorneys to help you through the Mosquito Fire claims process gives you the advantage of our experience and understanding of how the process works, and we will know the level of compensation you need versus the amount that PG&E offers in settlements.
Mr. Reiner and his team were extremely patient and kind with us. They explained everything twice if needed and went above and beyond what was required of an attorney. They made a very difficult situation bearable, handling parts of our case they normally don’t. If we ever needed an attorney again we’d definitely use them and definitely recommended then to others.