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Schimmel & Parks, APLC - Litigation
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Property Damage Archives


Even though homeowners purchase insurance to protect their property when it becomes damaged, not all home insurance claims are paid. While the unique facts of your policy and your situation play a role in understanding the reason for a home insurance claim denial, it is important to understand that you have rights as a consumer, and that you can exercise these rights following a denied claim.


Consumers who purchase insurance policies to safeguard themselves in the event that something unforeseen or unpredictable happens are protected by laws that ensure they are treated fairly their insurers. Under these laws, insurance providers that breech their legal duty to properly handle a claim and treat a customer fairly can be held accountable for the claims and any damages victims suffered when policyholders file bad faith insurance claims.

What to Do If Your Property Has Been Damaged by Fire

Fires can cause extensive property damage regardless of the causes of ignition. Homeowners often suffer minimal damage or complete loss of property, material possessions, and other inventory throughout properties. When this occurs, homeowners may be able to recover compensation for their losses by filing insurance claims with their insurance companies.

Santa Barbara Sherpa Fire Threatens Homes

On Wednesday afternoon, June 15th, a fire broke out in the Los Padres National Forest. By midnight, the fire had consumed roughly 2 square miles of land, approximately 1,100 acres, reported Captain Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. As the fire continued to expand, both sections of Highway 101 were closed. As a result, many campers and homeowners in the following nearby areas were ordered to evacuate:

Calabasas "Old Fire" Scorches 500+ Acres

More than 5,000 Calabasas residents were forced to evacuate their homes Sunday when a wildfire broke out on a canyon slope near Old Topanga Canyon Road, coming up right behind Calabasas High School and Viewpoint School. Over 400 firefighters responded to the area to try to contain the "Old Fire," which threatened approximately 3,700 homes in Calabasas and Topanga.

It's Fire Season in Southern California

As California endures its fifth year of a crippling drought, the dry landscape is especially susceptible to wildfires as temperatures increase. Southern California is once again entering into fire season, and experts are saying this could be the hottest year ever, surpassing even last year's record fire season. In fact, fire seasons now are 78 days longer, on average, than they were in 1970.

PG&E Blamed for Massive Butte Fire

California is seeking over $90 million in firefighting costs from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for the massive 110-square-mile Butte fire that destroyed 900 homes and other structures in September 2015. Investigators determined that a failed pine tree sparked the blaze after it fell into a nearby power line. While PG&E does not deny the cause, they claim that there is no clear proof of a maintenance failure on their part and that they therefore should not be held liable. The fire burned for over three weeks and resulted in approximately $300 million in property damage, making it the seventh-most destructive wildfire in California history.

What is a Construction Defect?

When you're in the market for a new property, the last thing you should have to worry about is whether your property was built correctly. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem. In an effort to cut costs, builders will quickly erect buildings using a number of shortcuts that ultimately compromise the quality and value of the property. While some defects are obvious, such as water damage, other types of defects may not become apparent until several years after the property was built.

What to Do in the Event of a Mudslide

When it comes to rain in parched Southern California, preparedness is key. After years of inadequate rainfall, our dry hills can cause major mudslides when they are finally hit with heavy and/or prolonged rains. These fast-moving landslides can cause chaos on roadways and enormous property damage to homes and businesses.

  • Insurance
    Bad Faith Result

    $250 Million

    Recovery for policyholders victimized by insurance bad faith practices following Northridge Earthquake.

  • Recent Class
    Action Result

    $23 Million

    Judgment on behalf of a class of employees for personal injury and loss of property related to illegal working conditions.

  • Recent Insurance
    Bad Faith Result

    $4 Million

    Recovery in defense costs for insureds denied their right to independent counsel by their insurance companies.

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