Have You Suffered Losses from the McKinney Fire?
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP fights for wildfire victims in Los Angeles and throughout California
The McKinney Fire is 99% contained, but to date it has burned more than 60,000 acres throughout Siskiyou County, destroyed at least 185 structures, and is responsible for at least four deaths.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but NBC Bay Area has reported “that early dispatch recordings indicate that the fire started underneath the ‘right of way’ for a Pacific Power distribution line. Sources with knowledge of the probe now say that investigators suspect that it began with a 60-foot tall Ponderosa Pine slumping onto the 12,000 volt Scott Bar line.”
Lawsuits are being filed against PacifiCorp, parent company of Pacific Power, alleging that the utility’s failure to maintain its infrastructure is the cause of the fire. McNicholas & McNicholas is already representing clients in claims against PacifiCorp. Contact our utility litigation attorneys in Los Angeles to learn more about your options and rights if you or your loved ones suffered losses in the McKinney Fire.
What damages can I recover if I’m a wildfire victim?
There are three general categories of wildfire victims McNicholas & McNicholas is currently reviewing:
- Homeowners who desire to restore the property that was destroyed, damaged, or lost
- Homeowners who have will sell or desire to sell the property (possibly suffering a diminution in value)
- Business owners who suffered fire damage that caused direct harm to their business or operations
A checklist for residents and property owners facing losses from the McKinney Fire:
- Are you currently facing a potential evacuation?
- Photograph and video all of the possessions in your home as best you can, including the rooms and the house itself, and the landscaping and the trees outside. It will be hard to remember everything later if things are destroyed.
- Further, when you prepare your “go” pack, it should include all important documents (birth certificates, SSN cards, passports, insurance policies) along with your cherished possessions such as wedding photos, baby photos, videos, and family heirlooms.
- Get a copy of your insurance policy.
- Review your insurance policy to see your alternative living expenses “budget.” This will be important in choosing where to stay and managing expenses.
- NOTE: Sometimes it is better to leave early rather than in a rush – it is easier to get together your cherished items and it is less difficult to find hotels with vacancies.
- Contact your insurance company immediately to file your claim if you have to evacuate, or if you suffer any fire damage. Have your insurance company document your full losses.
- Keep all of your receipts of alternative living accommodations (hotels, AirBnB, rentals, etc.) along with any receipts for eating out while you are displaced with no kitchen (i.e. in a hotel). If your commute for work has become greater, keep track of the additional miles you are driving each week as well. Keep receipts for replacement items as well. And keep a small journal of what is happening each day – it will be hard to recreate later.
- Keep all estimates, receipts, and invoices related to the damage your real property has suffered.
- Start your personal property contents list. This will be important for submission to your insurance carrier as well as in any future potential litigation against the bad actor to recover the amount lost above-and-beyond insurance.
- The important details to track for each item of person property are: (1) what it was; (2) the quantity; (3) the rough brand or retail store it was purchased from; (4) approximately how many years ago it was purchased; and (5) the approximate purchase price.
- It is also important to keep a separate list of “cherished possessions,” such as family heirlooms, wedding photos, baby photos, jewelry handed down, and the like, in the event you were unable to evacuate with them.
- A useful strategy is to mentally go through each room in your home and visualize what was in it, room-by-room, drawer-by-drawer.
- Further, use the attached personal contents inventory list of items typically located in most homes to help in this tedious process.
- Keep track of all correspondence with your insurance company such as payments, statements of loss, and claim summary forms.
McNicholas & McNicholas was part of a legal team that helped secure a $13.5 billion settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to compensate all the victims of wildfires caused by the utility company’s equipment in 2017. We are currently resolving cases against Southern California Edison as well from fires in 2018. Contact us today if you have been harmed or sustained losses related to the McKinney Fire. The firm will need to speak directly with you about your facts to tell you what you can recover.
How do I find a wildfire lawyer near me?
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP is a respected trial law firm serving the greater Los Angeles area. Our wildfire attorneys have the experience, skills, and resources to help you seek justice. Please fill out the contact form above or call 310-706-2506 to schedule a phone consultation.