California Wildfire Litigation - Frantz Law Group Seeks Recovery of Losses That Are Not Covered by Insurance Companies
Helping Californians Recover Losses From Wildfires
SAN DIEGO, March 12, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Frantz Law Group, APLC, McNicholas & McNicholas, and Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian are helping victims of the California Wildfires, as well as victims of the resulting mudslides, obtain financial restitution for their losses.
James P. Frantz, owner and senior partner of Frantz Law Group, stated, “Our law firm has extensive experience prosecuting cases against public utility companies that have caused wildfires resulting in catastrophic property damage, personal injury and wrongful death. The cause of wildfires is often due to the utility company's defective electrical equipment or its failure to maintain adequate clearance between electrical lines, trees, and shrubbery. Our attorneys understand how devastating it is for someone to lose their home and all of their possessions. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for more than 1000 fire victims. Even if a Wildfire victim has homeowners insurance, many times that insurance does not reimburse them for all of their losses.”
“We have found that most Wildfire victims are underinsured, where property damage exceeds the amount of insurance coverage available. Their recovery may include monetary compensation for personal property damage, landscaping, and destruction of trees, damage or loss of residential structures, cost of evacuation, annoyance and discomfort, loss of earnings and personal injury. Retaining legal counsel experienced in litigating fire-related cases against public utility companies may assist in maximizing the recovery of damages. Our firm participated in successfully litigating Southern California’s largest wildfire disaster of all time (with co-counsel) collecting over 2 billion dollars for fire victims,” stated Mr. Frantz.
“Many wildfires and mudslide victims find after rebuilding or repairing their property that the insurance proceeds do not fully compensate them for damages of rebuilding of their home, personal property and landscaping, including large trees. Landscaping coverage is usually a small portion of the overall insurance policy coverage that often excludes repairs for post-fire erosion control and replacement of native vegetation and large trees.”
“The insurer will also likely not replace lost trees with trees of like size and maturity. For example, any large pine or fruit tree lost or significantly damaged will be replaced with seedlings, at best. We retain experts to determine the mature tree replacement value, usually $5,000-$50,000 per tree depending on the type, age and size of tree. These are underinsured damages. In addition to the underinsured economic damages, we will make claims for uninsured damages such as annoyance damages and payment of attorney's fees and costs which we have been able to recover in past fire cases. We retain local arborists to tour the property and inspect damage to the landscaping and trees before removal of debris. Photographic evidence of the property post-fire and before cleanup is essential. We also retain landscape architects, real property appraisers, and construction estimators. Each of these experts has significant experience assessing potential damages concerning wildfires and determining the cost of repair and replacement and diminution in value of real property.”
Mr. Frantz continued, "We do not take attorney's fees on undisputed compensation you receive from your insurance company for rebuilding and repairs. Attorney's fees are only received on compensation received for losses that your insurance policy does not cover or claims that are disputed between you and your insurance company."
"California is one of the largest producers of agriculture in the United States. When crops are damaged or destroyed by wildfires, that fire damage causes devastation to families as well as communities at large. Many farmers do not ensure their crops, and if the crops are destroyed by a wildfire, the result can be financially devastating. Fruit trees often take years to mature and produce a significant yield. If destroyed, it can take years for a seedling to mature and produce fruit.”
“When a wildfire burns rural land, it destroys much of the native landscape. When a wildfire destroys native landscape, severe consequences occur including soil erosion, flooding, landslides, and mudslides. Plant and tree roots provide stability to the soil, and when the plants are destroyed, the soil becomes unstable, causing a greater chance of flooding and landslides. Insurance companies rarely provide compensation to repair and replace the natural environment destroyed. The cost to the landowner can be in the tens of thousands of dollars or more to restore the natural vegetation and remediate erosion.”
"Landscaping is a homeowner's outdoor living space. When this space is damaged or destroyed by wildfire, it can take years and significant expense to return it to its original pre-fire condition. Frantz Law Group retains experienced arborists and landscape architects to determine the value of the trees and surrounding landscape and the resulting diminution in value to the property as a result of that loss."
"Many wildfire victims believe that their insurance company will reimburse them for all damage and replacement cost of their structures. Examples would be their home, garage, and outbuildings. It is usually incorrect that the insurance company will reimburse the homeowner for all expenses and damage caused by the fire. Many fire victims find that they are underinsured. Underinsured losses may include (1) code upgrades and (2) uncovered and underinsured structures. The replacement of your structure costs significantly more than your homeowner insurance policy provides.”
“In addition, personal property is often the largest underinsured damage. The replacement cost of personal possessions is usually significantly higher than the compensation received from a homeowner insurance company. Many times insured replacement costs are two to three times greater than the amount allotted through the insurance policy.
“Many victims of significant fire damage or destruction will be displaced from their home for months or even a year or more during the repair and rebuilding process. Often, these expenses are not covered by insurance. Expenses incurred as a result of evacuation from Wildfire can include hotel costs, transportation, pet boarding, food, and supplies.”
“Homeowner insurance will not reimburse a Wildfire victim for the annoyance and discomfort sustained as a result of losing their home, moving, spending days, weeks and months repairing, rebuilding and replacing personal property. They will also not be reimbursed for the discomfort of losing irreplaceable family heirlooms. The only way to obtain compensation for these losses is to file a claim against the negligent parties. Often, a Wildfire victim can win compensation for these losses at settlement or trial provided that the correct legal theories are claimed, and the facts of their claim support those theories of liability,” concluded Mr. Frantz.
About Frantz Law Group
Frantz Law Group is a nationally recognized law firm that has specialized experience in representing victims of wildfires caused by the negligence of public utility companies and has represented and currently represents over 10,000 victims against various utility companies.
About McNicholas & McNicholas
McNicholas & McNicholas is a plaintiff’s trial law firm representing clients in complex matters, such as catastrophic personal injury, employment law, class actions, sexual abuse, and other consumer-oriented issues. McNicholas & McNicholas has been trying cases to jury verdict on behalf of their clients for more than five decades.
About Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian
Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian has a successful track record of recovering millions of dollars for plaintiffs in trials, arbitrations, mediations, appeals, and pre-litigation disputes.
If you would like more information on the wildfire litigation or for a free consultation, contact us at 877-703-0905.
Source: Frantz Law Group
Categories: Law Suits