California Wildfire Attorneys
Hold Power Companies Liable for the Fires They Start
California is ravaged by wildfires and brushfires more than any other state. In recent years, the fires have not only grown in size but have also increased in frequency. However, more fires don’t mean that nature is becoming that much more hostile. No, many of the worst California fires in the last decade have been caused directly by power company negligence.
Kershaw Talley Barlow is not afraid to take a legal fight against massive utility companies like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Pacific Power, and more. If you lost a loved one and/or property to a fire that these companies started—a fire that can’t rightfully be called a wildfire at that point—let us know as soon as you can. You might have a limited window to use legal action against the power company in pursuit of justice and compensation.
Dial (916) 520-6639 to speak with a California fire lawyer from Kershaw Talley Barlow now.
Why Choose Kershaw Talley Barlow
Taking a claim against a power company is no easy task. We are the statewide go-to firm for fire damage claims related to power company negligence and failures. We have a long history of fighting utility companies and corporations for the wrongfully injured—and winning.
People across California choose our fire lawsuit attorneys because:
- We have more than 100 years of combined legal experience.
- We have recovered more than $1 billion for injured clients.
- We are frequently featured in the media like Forbes® and L.A. Times.
- We have won settlements and verdicts against major corporations like Ford and UPS.
How Power Company Negligence Starts Fires
The power company negligence that starts California fires is somewhat simple, which makes the situation that much more frustrating. Powerlines that run through forested and dry regions can trigger sparks that ignite nearby vegetation. The risk of a dangerous spark increases when the powerlines and vegetation are not frequently maintained, as they should be.
Many California fires have started due to:
- Worn down powerline hooks that break and drop a livewire into the brush.
- Tree branches that are allowed to grow too close to powerlines.
- Trees that fall over onto powerlines due to strong winds.
- Damaged electrical boxes that spark due to a lack of maintenance and new parts.
To determine liability for a fire, investigators will often start with reports of power outages near the source of the blaze. Using external and internal utility reports, they can often pinpoint the exact powerline or electrical box that became damaged or defective. If the damage could have been prevented with regular maintenance, then the power company can be held fully liable for the resulting fire and all the destruction it causes.
Power Company Fire Lawsuits We Handle
Currently, Kershaw Talley Barlow is looking into several recent California fires. We hope to hear from as many people who were impacted by these fires as we can, so we can help as many people as possible. If you don’t see the fire that damaged your property or hurt your loved one on the below list, do not hesitate to call (916) 520-6639 to see if we can work on your case, too.
Let us know if you lost a loved one, property, or acreage value due to the:
- McKinney Fire: The McKinney Fire has burned more than 60,000 acres in Klamath National Forest, has destroyed potentially hundreds or thousands of structures, and is believed to have caused several deaths. Early investigations point to Pacific Power and PacifiCorp for causing it due to a defective volt distribution line.
- Dixie Fire: In the summer of 2021, the Dixie Fire became California’s second-largest wildfire on record, destroyed several towns and communities, and resulted in several injuries. PG&E seems to have started the fire by allowing a tree to grow against and on top of a conductor pole.
- Kincade Fire: In late 2019, the Kincade Fire burned more than 374 structures and caused several injuries as it destroyed 70,000 acres of land. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection concluded that faulty PG&E equipment was the cause of the inferno.
- Bobcat Fire: The Bobcat Fire was one of the largest fires ever recorded in Los Angeles County, resulting in more than 200 structures being destroyed and terrible air quality for weeks. This fire was linked to Southern California Edison (SCE) and its negligent handling of tree branches near overhead conductors.
Damages Caused by Wildfires
California fires are devastating, to say the least. Oftentimes, the people who are impacted by these blazes lose much of their livelihood if not all of it.
Damages available to you as a California fire survivor could include:
- Property damage or lost property value
- Lost wages and livelihood
- Medical treatments
- Trauma from losing a loved one
- Emotional scarring from the crisis
- And much more
We are committed to getting our clients as much compensation as possible for California fire lawsuits. You have been through enough. Let us fight to make sure you don’t have to go through financial hardships, too.
Giving Our All for Those Who Lost It All
You deserve so much after a power company’s negligence caused a fire that tore through your property and might have even hurt you or your loved ones. Let Kershaw Talley Barlow be the legal team that fights for it all. Our California fire attorneys are ready to guide you, support your claim, and fight utility companies like PG&E, SCE, and PacifiCorp.
Please call (916) 520-6639 or contact us online for more information.
What is a personal injury lawsuit?A personal injury action is a civil lawsuit that seeks to recover compensation for the harm caused, either physically, mentally, or emotionally, by another’s negligence. Personal injury lawsuits provide a way for victims of preventable accidents to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. In order to be successful, the plaintiff (the injured person bringing the lawsuit) needs to prove that the actions or inaction of the defendant (the person accused of negligence) were to blame for their accident.
Does my injury qualify for a personal injury lawsuit?
In order to file a personal injury case for negligence, you must meet the four following criteria:
- Duty – In order to successfully bring a case against a defendant, the plaintiff must show that the law imposed a “duty” on the defendant to act a certain way. This “duty” is an obligation to act as a “reasonable person” would act, and courts have illustrated how a “reasonable person” would act in a variety of specific circumstances. For example, a manufacturer of a product has a “duty” not to release products that can foreseeably cause harm to consumers.
- Breach – This requirement simply means that a defendant must have failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted in his or her circumstances, and thereby breached his or her duty.
- Harm – This requirement merely means that the plaintiff must have suffered some kind of real harm, physical, financial, emotional, etc.
- Causation – This requirement means that a defendant’s breach of duty must have caused the plaintiff harm. There are two types of causation that typically must be shown: 1) actual causation, meaning that, but for the defendant’s breach, the plaintiff’s harm would not have occurred, and 2) proximate causation, meaning that the link between the defendant’s breach and the plaintiff’s harm must not be ‘stretched too thin’ by intervening events or other factors.
To fully understand your rights after suffering an injury, contact Kershaw Talley Barlow at (916) 520-6639. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys can provide you with a free case evaluation.
How many personal injury cases go to trial?
The majority of civil cases filed are personal injury tort cases where a plaintiff is seeking monetary damages for an injury sustained by another person’s negligence. These lawsuits are brought for various reasons, such as motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or defective products.
Many civil cases can be resolved without going to trial through an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, such as arbitration or mediation. Arbitration and mediation bring together the persons involved in the lawsuit in an informal setting. The goal is to reach a fair resolution without incurring the time and expense of trial.
While there is no exact national data, the U.S. Department of Justice reports about 4% of all personal injury cases filed nationally actually go to trial. The majority of personal injury cases are resolved in either settlements or dismissals before trial is even assigned.
Can I still file a claim if I was partially at fault?In states that recognize the “pure comparative fault” rule, injured parties may recover damages even if they were 99% at fault. Under this rule, the plaintiff's recoverable damages are proportionally reduced by the percentage they are at fault. So, if you were 70% at fault in a crash and suffered $100,000 in damages, you could still recover $30,000 from the other driver. Approximately 1/3 of states have adopted pure comparative fault—including California.
Can I afford a personal injury lawyer?A big concern for many people when considering hiring an injury lawyer is that they may not actually be able to afford their attorney fees, especially if their injuries prevent them from working for a long period of time. The good news is that personal injury lawyers operate on what's known as a "contingency fee basis." This means that unless we recover compensation for you, you won't have to pay any attorney fees. We only win if you win! Additionally, our fees will be deducted from the settlement that you receive as a percentage, therefore you won't be paying anything out of pocket. Want to learn more about how we get paid? You can reach out to our team today for a free consultation and discuss your case!
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