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California Wild Fire DamageDixie Fire

4 things to do when dealing with your insurance company after a fire

By August 18, 2021May 26th, 2022No Comments

If you have lost property or belongings due to a wildfire, you might think that your homeowner’s insurance or business insurance policy will cover all your losses. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. 

Far too often, insurance companies deny claims or do not provide enough to cover the full extent of damages.  However, hiring a personal injury attorney with experience representing wildfire victims is the best way to fight for compensation needed to rebuild your life. 

Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel has represented thousands of people whose lives have been disrupted by preventable fires.

We work with victims to stay abreast of the latest wildfire news — the Dixie Fire for example — and draw upon our experience representing victims of preventable wildfires to help our clients recover damages for their losses often when insurance is inadequate or absent.

Important steps for your fire insurance claim

Many Californians assume that because they are insured, their losses caused by a preventable wildfire will be fully repaid.  But having insurance does not mean your insurance company is going to fully compensate for your losses.

Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with your insurance company:

  • Keep track of everything: Make a list of everything you’ve lost in the fire, and don’t throw anything away. That way, you’ll be able to prove what you really lost in the fire. In the same vein, keep track of your living expenses after the fire, and keep receipts and documentation for any repairs or estimates you have done. 
  • Secure your property to mitigate damage: Your insurance company will want to see proof that you did everything you could to minimize the harm to your property. These simple steps can include:
      1. Covering your leaking roof 
      2. Turning off the water when you find a burst pipe
      3. Stopping smoldering
      4. Boarding up your property if necessary 
      5. Checking for new problems
  • Keep paying your insurance premiums: Some people think the next step after filing a fire insurance claim is to discontinue their insurance premiums. Do not do this.
  • Hire an experienced fire damage attorney: An attorney can help you file a fire damage lawsuit not only to help you recover your losses, but also to make sure that the people or entities to blame for starting the fire are held responsible for their negligence. Fire damage lawsuits can also force those responsible to take measures to prevent future fires.

How Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel can help with your fire claim

While many people in the Northern California area have wildfire insurance, an unfortunate number do not or are unknowingly underinsured This is because many insurance companies who are aware of wildfires in recent years refuse to write it into their clients’ coverage or provide only limited coverage.  

When our fire damage attorneys at Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel take on a wildfire case, we help our clients move forward towards recovery, regardless of whether they had fire insurance.

  • We start by conducting an investigation to determine if the fire was, in fact, caused by the negligent acts of a person or entity.
  • We gather evidence to show how the at-fault party acted negligently, and how that carelessness led to the fire.
  • We gather evidence of the losses our client has already faced, and we demonstrate, through economic projections, the loss in profit or income our client and their family will suffer as a result of the fire damage.
  • We then present this evidence to the at-fault party and attempt to negotiate a fair resolution. If the at-fault party does not accept our demand, we will take the case to court.

Contact a California fire damages attorney today

At Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel, we have won over $600 million for our clients. We are dedicated to helping victims of serious injuries, including wildfires and wildfire damage, and we approach each case with compassion and an attention to detail so each of our clients get the  compensation they deserve. Contact us today.

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