Have You Suffered Losses from the Silverado Wildfire?
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP fights for wildfire victims in Los Angeles and throughout California
As of October 27, 2020, the Silverado wildfire had destroyed more than 11,000 acres of brush and property throughout Orange County, forcing over 75,000 evacuations. McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP and Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian are two separate law firms that are working together to jointly investigate the cause and origin of these fires, and to evaluate potential legal claims by victims and their families. Together, the McNicholas and Bridgford firms have represented (and are still representing) thousands of clients throughout Southern and Northern California who sustained losses from wildfires in 2017 caused by PG&E and 2018 caused by Southern California Edison (“SCE”). The possibly affected areas for purposes of claim evaluation include the following:
- Orchard Hills
- Santa Ana Mountains at Santiago Canyon
- Silverado Canyon
- Lake Forest
- Baker Ranch
- Foothill Ranch
- Loma Ridge
- Limestone Canyon Regional Park
- Round Canyon
- Rattlesnake Canyon
- Little Joaquin Valley
- Spring Valley
- Peters Canyon
- Bee Canyon
- Hicks Canyon
- Mission Viejo
- Modjeska Canyon
- Trabuco Canyon
- Live Oak Canyon
- Portola Hills
- SR 241 from Santiago to 133
- Northbound I-5
- Northbound 133
- Northbound 241
- Southbound 241
- Northbound 261
- Southbound 261
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 Silverado Wildfire
- 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 Silverado wildfire. 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 310-706-2394 to schedule a phone consultation.