What Can I Do If I Was a Victim of the Dixie Fire?
On July 13, 2021, the Dixie fire began burning along Highway 70 and Feather River Canyon in Butte County California. It burned for 104 days before finally being contained on October 25, 2021. If you were a victim of the Dixie fire and suffered injuries and/or property damages, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
However, you may be unsure and confused about what your next steps should be. Fortunately, when you reach out to a Dixie fire attorney, you can get legal advice and support when you need it most. Explore your legal options for financial recovery further.
More About the Dixie Fire
According to the California Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) admitted that their equipment is responsible for igniting the Dixie fire. CALFIRE investigators reported blown fuses that may be responsible for starting the Dixie fire.
Important Dixie Fire Facts
The Dixie fire was named after the Dixie Creek. Before the Dixie fire was fully contained, it burned across the following counties:
- Butte County
- Shasta County
- Lassen County
- Tehama County
- Plumas County
The Dixie fire was responsible for destroying many public lands, residential homes, businesses, and even Native American archaeological sites. Some of the towns and cities that were affected by the Dixie fire include:
- Bucks Lake
- Meadows Valley
- Text Valley
- Rush Creek
- Williams Valley
- Hunt canyon
- The greater Almanor area
Three firefighters suffered severe injuries on active duty, and one succumbed to their injuries. There were zero reported civilian deaths associated with the Dixie fire.
Common Dixie Fire Injuries
The Dixie fire produced catastrophic and life-threatening injuries. Many wildfire victims suffered from injuries related to smoke inhalation, salt, and explosions. Some of the more common types of injuries connected to the Dixie fire and other wildfires across California include:
- Third-degree burns
- Lung damage
- Respiratory infections
- Smoke inhalation
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Contusions and abrasions
- Head injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These are just a few of the more common types of injuries that are associated with wildfires and the Dixie fire. If you suffered another type of injury and you are interested in learning more about what legal options are available to you, reach out to a Dixie fire attorney for help.
Liability for the Dixie Fire
PG&E was found responsible for causing the Dixie fire. The defective utility equipment ultimately sparked the fire, but it was PG&E’s negligent actions afterward that made the damage significantly worse than it could have been.
PG&E failed to shut off the power before it was alerted to the blown fuses. Since PG&E neglected its grid and continues to face backlash regarding maintenance issues over the years, PG&E is responsible for causing the damages and injuries victims endured.
What Should Your Next Steps Be?
If you suffered substantial losses caused by the Dixie fire, you may be wondering how you will get through this difficult time in your life. There are several options that may be available to you. This may include filing a claim with an insurance company and filing a lawsuit against PG&E.
However, the insurance claims process can often be complex. It will help to have a wildfire lawyer on your side who can help you navigate the negotiations process and avoid being taken advantage of during some of the most difficult times in your life.
Filing a Lawsuit
In filing a lawsuit against PG&E, you may be able to recover every single loss you suffered because of the Dixie fire. This includes financial compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic damages. Some of the losses you may be able to recover include:
- Compensation for property damages
- Loss of income
- Hospital bills
- Medical expenses and equipment fees
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
You can learn more about how much your case is worth when you connect with a Dixie fire attorney to discuss your damages in further detail.
Filing a Fire Damage Insurance Claim
Filing a fire damage insurance claim is another way you could recover compensation for your damages. If you purchased homeowners insurance or another type of fire protection insurance coverage, you may be entitled to certain types and amounts of compensation. However, dealing with the insurance company is not going to be easy.
The insurance company cares more about their own profits than they do about making sure your family has what they need to rebuild your home and your life. Insurance companies are known to make insultingly low settlement offers, wrongfully deny insurance claims, and delay the processing of claims, all in the hopes of reducing their profit loss. However, they should not be something you must deal with.
Your attorney can ensure the insurance company is held accountable to their financial obligation so you can pick up the pieces of your life. It is also important to remember that your insurance settlement may not fully cover your damages. The insurance company is only required to compensate you up to the limits of your policy. If your damages exceed these limits, you may need to seek your remaining damages through a lawsuit against PG&E.
Get Help From a Dixie Fire Attorney Today
If you suffered severe injuries or property damages because of the Dixie fire, you may need assistance handling fire damage insurance claims and/or your lawsuit against PG&E.
Call for your no-cost, risk-free consultation with a team member from Nadrich & Cohen and find out how to get started on your case. You can reach our office by phone or through our convenient contact form to learn more about what your next steps should be.