If the last couple of years are anything to go by, California is a very vulnerable state when it comes to wildfires. They can arise at nearly any point of the year and destroy decades worth of possessions and assets within a few hours. 2018’s catastrophic fires have made records when it comes to the amount of destruction and insurance claims.
Some families are lucky enough to have enough insurance precautions in place to minimize the amount of damages while others may try to file a lawsuit against a potential company responsible for the destruction to get back even a fraction of what they lost. Losing so much of your property can be overwhelming and leave you with many options, but you cannot dawdle for too long. You may end up losing more in recovery damages if you do not act quickly enough.
You have limited time to do so
Certain methods on getting compensation for damages have a brief time window. For example, many Californians are filing claims against the state’s Department of Transportation because they felt the department’s poor management of the vegetation contributed to last year’s Carr Fire. The Sacramento Bee says that the last of the claims against the department were filed in January because plaintiffs who sue government agencies have only six months to file damage claims. If you are debating how to file your claim for damages, make sure to research the due dates on each potential method you are considering.
There will be competition
If a major wildfire spreads throughout the neighborhood or city, then you know you will not be the only one filing insurance claims. The insurance claims from last November’s disasters alone is over $11 billion in damages. If you wait too long, then you may not be able to benefit as much as some of the earlier victims and could be more subject to the city’s shifting economic environment.
Liable companies may not last long
California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), was heavily blamed for most of the devastating wildfires in the last few years for their lack of safety precautions with their products. The company recently announced that they are filing for bankruptcy with the amount of residents suing them for the destruction. Depending on how the process unfolds, many people may not be able to reclaim for damages thanks to the company’s decision. Victims that chose to sue later will be especially in trouble if most of the lawsuits against the company are successful. As the Washington Post suggests, PG&E will not be the only company forced into bankruptcy from the wildfires.
If you are indecisive on how to recover from your damages after a horrific wildfire burns down your home, you should seek legal assistance immediately. While it is a meticulous process, you may lose more in the long run if you do not make the right legal decisions within the time after the destruction.