The Woolsey Fire, which began November 8, 2018, and burned through parts of Los Angeles County and Ventura County killed three people, injured three firefighters, destroyed 1,500 structures, and burned through 96,949 acres. As of March 2019, the Woolsey Fire was the seventh most destructive fire in California. Victims of the fire can consult a California wildfire injury lawyer if they have questions about filing insurance claims or injury claims against the parties liable for the fire.
Boeing Co. Sued for Negligence in the Woolsey Fire
Several homeowners have filed a lawsuit against Boeing Co. and Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison. (LaPlante v. Southern California Edison, 19STCV03419, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County).
Southern California Edison (SCE) stated that just two minutes before the fire was reported an outage at an electrical substation on Boeing property occurred. The homeowners claim that Boeing was negligent in failing to maintain the vegetation on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, thereby allowing the fire to spread through neighborhoods surrounding the area. The Woolsey Fire is still under investigation. SCE and Boeing have both stated they are cooperating fully with the investigation.
How Can You Be Prepared for Wildfires in California?
Wildfires occur for many reasons. In some cases, negligence or carelessness may contribute to the cause and severity of a wildfire. However, lightning and other natural disasters can trigger a wildfire. In many cases, individuals have very little time to evacuate when a wildfire warning is issued.
Ready.gov provides information about how to remain safe during a wildfire by preparing for a wildfire before the fire breaks out and how to remain safe during and after the wildfire.
Tips that the website provides for preparing now include:
- Register with natural and local warning systems.
- Know several ways out of the area in addition to the designated evacuation route.
- Prepare an emergency kit, including N95 respirator masks to avoid breathing in dangerous particles in the air.
- If you have not been instructed to leave home, designate a “safe” room that can be closed off from outside air. Have a portable air cleaner for that room to filter the air.
- Place important documents in a fireproof safe and create password protected digital copies you can access off-site.
- Use fire-resistant building materials and create a fire-resistant zone around your property.
- Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage, including fire insurance.
If you are instructed to evacuate, leave immediately. If trapped, call 911 to provide your location and condition. Listen to emergency alert systems and NOAA Weather Radio for further instructions and emergency information. Wear an N95 mask to improve the quality of the air you are breathing.
After a wildfire, be extremely careful returning to your property because there could be hot spots, unsafe structures, and hazardous conditions. Wear a NIOSH certified respirator dust mask and spray debris with water to minimize breathing dust particles and other debris in the air. Document the damage to your property with photographs, videos, and written notes.
For more detailed information, visit the Ready.gov website or the website for CAL Fire.
Contact a California Wildfire Injury Attorney for More Information
The destruction caused by California wildfires is astronomical. The insurance claims for the November 2018 wildfires in California have exceeded $11.4 billion as of January 2019. That figure may increase. Wildfire insurance claims for 2017 California wildfires were approximately $12.4 billion.
Filing insurance claims and dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming for wildfire victims. Some individuals and families are homeless and just trying to survive.
A California wildfire injury attorney can help file an insurance claim. An attorney can review your case to ensure that you are receiving all compensation you are entitled to receive for a wildfire claim. If necessary, a California personal injury attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf to protect your legal rights and to seek justice from the negligent parties responsible for the wildfire. Contact J&Y Law today to learn about your legal options.