The Monument Fire is one of the most recent wildfires in California, beginning on July 30, 2021. If your property has been damaged or you were injured by the Monument Fire, the law may entitle you to financial compensation – either from an insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Contact the attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger to learn more about your legal rights as a wildfire victim in California.
How a Wildfire Attorney Can Help
A wildfire attorney can give you knowledge and resources that you otherwise would not possess as a claimant in a fire lawsuit. For example, when going up against a homeowners insurance company in pursuit of compensation for wildfire damage, your attorney will know which negotiation strategies to use to compel the insurer to offer a fair amount. An attorney will also know when to take a wildfire lawsuit to trial in California for better results. An attorney can handle all of the legal aspects of your lawsuit, including confusing paperwork and claims processes, while you focus on picking up the pieces after a wildfire and moving forward.
What Is the Monument Fire?
The Monument Fire is a wildfire in Trinity County that originated in Del Loma, California near Monument Peak. It was originally called the Panther Fire, but the name changed on August 1. The cause remains unknown as of September 2021, but preliminary reports state that it may have been caused by lightning.
The administrative unit in charge of containing the fire is the Shasta Trinity National Forest. More than 2,000 firefighters are working on containing the blaze, which has covered 189,366 acres and is 41 percent contained as of September 8, 2021. So far, the Monument Fire has destroyed at least 50 structures and injured 8 firefighters.
What Are Common Losses Associated With Wildfires?
A wildfire can be extremely destructive, consuming everything in its wake. According to the Insurance Information Institute, wildfires in California in 2020 burned a record 4.3 million acres, impacted 10,500 structures and took the lives of 33 victims. A wildfire has the potential to cause significant economic and noneconomic losses, such as:
- Physical injuries
- Severe burns
- Catastrophic injuries
- Smoke injuries
- Wrongful death
- Pet and livestock death
- Property damage and destruction
- Landscape damage
- Loss of personal possessions
- Lost personal income
- Business interruption
- Emotional distress
- Psychological trauma
If you suffered any losses in the Monument Fire, consult with an attorney to find out if you’re eligible for financial compensation. A lawyer can help you understand your options for legal recovery.
Can You File a Lawsuit for the Monument Fire?
The cause of the Monument Fire has not yet been confirmed. If an investigation finds evidence of human error, such as an electric company failing to properly inspect and maintain its equipment, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit on the basis of negligence. For example, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has been found at fault for dozens of wildfires in California and is facing many related lawsuits.
A negligence claim requires you or your attorney to prove fault for the wildfire. If your private property was being used by a utility company when it sparked a fire, however, you may not have to prove fault based on the rules of inverse condemnation. This is a type of claim that allows you to sue for just compensation – even in the absence of fault – if the utility company was using your land for public benefit.
Even if an investigation does not find evidence of fault for the Monument Fire, you could be eligible for financial compensation from your homeowners or renter’s insurance company. Before you accept a settlement, however, consult with an attorney to make sure that you are receiving an adequate amount.
Contact Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger for a Free Case Review
If you or your family has been impacted by the Monument Fire in California, don’t hesitate to contact Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger to request a free case consultation. Our wildfire attorneys have years of experience representing clients in cases against electric companies, utility companies, government agencies, individuals and others. We can help you understand your rights and pursue maximum financial compensation for your wildfire losses. Call (415) 981-7210 today to speak to a lawyer about a potential Monument Fire lawsuit.