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WILDFIRES

NATIONWIDE WILDFIRE INSURANCE CLAIM ATTORNEYS

Galindo Law litigates for property damage and other losses resulting from Wildfires

It’s a sad fact that wildfires continue to be a growing threat in America, especially in areas of the nation that are extremely susceptible. With climate change and long periods of drought, wildfires increase exponentially every year causing the destruction of millions of acres and generating hazardous aftereffects. Difficult to fight and rapidly spread, wildfire makes for a terrifying enemy that is extremely difficult to overcome. Although the majority of wildfires may strike non-populated areas, there are still undeniable impacts to communities by its spreading.

The injuries and property damage that results from wildfire can be truly tragic.  Even worse than experiencing this type of event, homeowners, renters, and business owners ultimately come to find that their policy coverages do not recover the extent of their damages.  Most policies cover fire damages, but it depends on the policy how inclusive coverages can be.  This can leave gray areas and greater chances for reduced or denied claims.   Experienced attorneys, like our team at Galindo Law, can help fight for you – and fight for your comeback.

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DID YOU KNOW?  These Top 10 Areas are at the Highest Risk for Wildfires

We’re helping consumers get paid fairly on hail damage insurance claims 

Wildfires occur nationwide. You might be surprised to know that more fires occur in the Central and Eastern states on average every year.  The Western states, on the other hand, occur on a greater scale with more acreage burned.  In a September 2019 report, the following U.S. States made the top 10 as the most prone to wildfires:

  • California

  • Texas

  • Colorado

  • Arizona

  • Idaho

  • Washington

  • Oklahoma

  • Oregon

  • Montana

  • Utah

FAQ

Answers to Common Questions about Wildfire Insurance Claims

What is wildfire damage?


Wildfire damage is the effect on human life and property resulting from accidental or unintended fires. Human error is typically the cause, with only about 10 – 15% of fires sparking naturally during droughts and dry weather from lightning or lava. The burning of debris, unattended campfires, discarded cigarettes, downed power lines, and intentional acts of arson play a major role in the start of these disasters. Adding fuel to the fire are strong winds and warmer temperatures, which helps fire to spread at incredibly fast speeds, and flames can travel up to 14 miles per hour. Winds that carry wildfire embers are the reason many residences and buildings burn down, as well.




Post Wildfire Damage Checklist


Fire can create so much destruction to property and personal possessions in relation to flames, smoke, ash, heat, and water. Great health risks can come from extensive smoke or ash and can render a home or workplace uninhabitable. The following is a list of damages to consider after a wildfire:

  • Smoke, Ash & Soot Residue Smoke can permeate the interior of your home, as well as your personal belongings, furniture, and décor. Soot is acidic and can corrode, rust, stain, and discolor surface areas and furnishings.
  • Roof & Exterior Damage Wildfire embers can drift from nearby flames and cause damages to your roof and property exteriors.
  • Warped or Discolored Windows Glass that is exposed to high heat becomes weaker. The seals in double-pane windows can be broken, or the window frame itself can be damaged.
  • Damaged Walls In addition to fire and smoke, fire-fighting efforts can create widespread water damages and flooding throughout your home. Walls will absorb smoke damages, but you could also be at risk for future mold hazards with water damages.
  • Discoloration of Fabrics Upholstery, rugs, clothing, carpets, and other fabrics can soak in the smoke from a fire, causing discolorations and odor.
  • Cracked Concrete

    It is common for concrete surfaces to experience breaking, paint chipping, and cracking from prolonged exposure to heat.




Post-Storm Wind and Hail Damage Checklist


  • Inspect the Roof
    As the most susceptible to wind and storm damage, make sure to check the roof for damaged shingles and seams, broken or missing materials, holes or gaps, loose and fallen debris, and any water stains or discoloration
  • Thoroughly Check Windows
    Whether single or double pane, windows can easily take on damage from a large storm. Inspect for cracks and dents in frames, rips or holes in window screens, broken panes, or damage to the seal in double panes which creates fogging.
  • Investigate the Attic
    Make sure to inspect the hidden areas like attics and crawl spaces for flooding and water damage.
  • Check Gutters & Pipes
    Pipes, gutters, and downspouts can be cracked or chipped, or even be obstructed with debris.
  • Access Fences, Decks & Porches
    It is common for exterior surfaces to experience breaking, paint chipping, cracking and other damages.
  • Inspect Driveways & Walkways
    Be aware of the ground surfaces and inspect for cracks in the sidewalk or gravel astray.
  • Be Mindful of Trees & Debris
    Take a look at all trees and plants on your property, as well as your direct neighbors.
  • Look for Chipped Brick Hail stones frequently chip brick, which can devalue your home. Some types of brick are very hard, but also very brittle and susceptible to chipping.




What steps should you take after a wildfire?


Take health and safety precautions into consideration before returning to your home, as hazardous conditions, chemicals, and materials may still be present. Smoke, ash, waste, and other threats can pose serious health risks, so seek advice from local officials, the fire department, or other experts before repairs or cleanup begins. Consider the following steps when dealing with wildfire damages after a hurricane:

  • Always seek advice before returning to the property as breathing hazards and other risks may still exist
  • File a claim with your insurance company
  • Take photos of any property damages (interior and exterior)
  • Keep detailed records of documents and conversations with the adjuster and the insurance company including names, dates, and summaries
  • Create an inventory list of your damaged property and possessions
  • Prepare receipts or proof of payment for damaged items
  • Contact trusted contractors to inspect your damages and write bids for the repairs




Why should I contact an insurance claim lawyer?


Often many property owners find they have little trouble filing an insurance claim for their damages. Other times - usually when the stakes are much higher – there is a greater chance for dispute. You should consider contacting an attorney for help when:

  • You have questions regarding your policy coverages
  • The insurance adjuster’s estimate is lower than expected
  • Damages are extensive and claims are more complex
  • Claims are delayed or denied
Galindo Law fights for your rights on bad faith insurance claims for damages resulting from disasters such as wildfires. Our qualified attorneys can help blaze your path to recovery, and rest assured – you will not pay a dime unless we win. Call the Galindo Law Firm at 888-800-1808 for a free legal consultation.





secure your future

With 20 years of experience, and millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, we have the knowledge and resources to handle a variety of personal injury and property damage claims.

Cases are accepted on a contingent fee basis, meaning you don’t pay anything out of pocket expenses.

Contact us today for a free consultation. 888.800.1808

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