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How to Sue PG&E for Business Losses After a Wildfire in California

Maison Law represents business owners who have suffered the loss of property and income due to wildfires caused by negligent California utility companies like PG&E. Our personal injury lawyers go to work immediately to hold power companies responsible for all damages that result from their carelessness. Please contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a real California lawyer and find out how to hold PG&E fully accountable for your hardships.

Why Is PG&E Liable for the Business Damages Wildfires Caused?

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has been blamed for causing over 30 wildfires in California since 2017. Investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CAL FIRE) point to the utility company’s failure to maintain and upgrade its power grid across the state. It was this negligence that led to massive fires.

People were injured and lives were claimed. Victims also lost their homes, businesses, and all of their possessions. Business owners and operators may have lost their business properties including offices, storage facilities, and merchandise. They may have lost their clients’ property to fires. Even if business owners were able to rebuild, they may not been able to rebuild their customer base and avoid bankruptcy.

The Fire Victim Trust was funded by PG&E to provide support to the victims of the 2015 Butte Fires, the 2017 North Bay Fires, and the 2018 Camp Fires.

The victims of other fires, like 2021’s Dixie Fire, have been filing individual lawsuits against the power company to seek help in rebuilding their homes., businesses, and paying hospital bills.

It’s important for victims who lost their businesses and jobs to have a California Wildfire & Utilities Claim Lawyer on their side throughout the claims process and potential lawsuits. PG&E can afford corporate lawyers to cast doubt on each injury claim you submit. You need a skilled lawyer to protect your rights and make sure you receive what’s fair for the loss of your livelihood.

Suing PG&E for Wildfire Damage to Businesses

Business owners, like homeowners, will need to determine what wildfire damage insurance policies will cover after the devastation of a wildfire.

Businesses will usually have general liability insurance that should cover some costs to replace what was lost, including buildings used by businesses, and their merchandise. Unfortunately, not all policies will provide enough for business owners to rebuild everything as it once was. Many policies compensate you for your property damages, but at a reduced rate factoring in the depreciation of facilities and equipment since you purchased the policy.

This can leave owners far short if they were hoping to rebuild their businesses as they were before the fire. That’s where a claim filed against PG&E would be needed.

Victims could ask for help in restoring their businesses and paying any expenses that a business insurer refused to pay. These losses would include:

  • The cost of replacing business structures like offices, storage facilities, and warehouses.
  • The cost of replacing your clients’ property. This could also include the property of vendors, your business partners, and your suppliers.
  • The cost of repairs to a damaged business structure.
  • The smoke and water damage to business equipment and furniture.
  • The medical expenses for a customer, visitor, or client hurt during the wildfires.
  • The loss of business branding on signs.
  • The loss of landscaping, fences, and parking lots.
  • The “business interruption” that is caused by a wildfire. The loss of customers and networks that prevents you from returning to previous profitability.
  • The loss of business revenue.
  • Support to pay the salaries of your employees.
  • Help in keeping up with your business loan payments.

There are many different types of business insurance policies available. It’s important to know what’s covered and what you’d be reimbursed for before a fire arises.

How Can a California Wildfire Lawyer Help Me and My Business

Of course, PG&E’s insurance providers and their corporate lawyers will all be working to limit the support they’ll have to pay out to a business owner. They’ll question every cost and they’ll often offer you far less than what your losses total out to. This leaves you to foot the bill for much of your financial recovery.

Your wildfire lawyer fights back against this underhanded treatment. Your Maison Law attorney first makes sure every hardship you and your business is included in your claim and backed with evidence. Your lawyer then uses negotiation skills that have been sharpened over years of experience to secure the maximum in compensation possible on a wildfire damage settlement check.

If PG&E offers you an unacceptable amount, your Maison Law attorney rejects it and demands more. If you are still being treated unfairly, your lawyer represents the threat of a lawsuit and a trial. PG&E will work hard to please you with a settlement check in the hopes of avoiding the costs of a trial and the bad publicity. However, your lawyer will have strong evidence prepared if your case must be presented to a judge and jury.

If you are eligible to seek support from the Fire Victim Trust, you will be filing a claim with the trust administrators. It’s still a good idea to have an experienced California lawyer representing your case. Not every victim is awarded the same amount of support from the trust. Your lawyer will be working to list all of your business losses to maximize the compensation you and your employees receive.

Contact a California Wildfires Lawyer

If you lose the business property and possessions you’ve worked so hard for in a wildfire, don’t let PG&E off the hook. Speak to a California utility fire lawyer to discover what you should be demanding from insurance providers and how to make sure you can rebuild your business.

Contact Maison Law for a free consultation no matter where you live in California. Our case reviews are confidential and come with no obligation. If you decide we can help you earn more for your damages after a wildfire, you won’t need to have any upfront money to hire us. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for you. Then our fee comes out of the settlement money you are awarded.

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