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How to Choose the Right Attorney for Your Wildfire Lawsuit

June 21, 2023 · Wildfire

How many wildfires happen a year? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports there are about 70,000 each year nationally. Most of those wildfires happen in the state of California. Wildfires are always devastating, but sometimes they hit especially close to home. People have lost homes, health, and even their lives as the result of wildfires. Even without the fire damage itself, smoke inhalation can lead to long-term illness or death. 

But there's a start to every fire. Sometimes one person's negligent action can spark a fire that becomes a wildfire. In these cases, you may have the right to file a wildfire lawsuit. The next step is finding a wildfire attorney to represent you.

What Is a Wildfire Attorney and What Do They Do?

A wildfire attorney is a type of personal injury attorney who specializes in handling wildfire cases. They represent plaintiffs against individual or corporate defendants who may be responsible for the wildfire that caused devastation to the plaintiff's life and home. After a vast wildfire, some wildfire lawyers file a class action lawsuit, representing multiple plaintiffs who suffered heavy losses.

A California wildfire attorney can precisely answer the question, "What damage do wildfires cause?" from a legal standpoint. And they can help you get the compensation you need. Your wildfire damage attorney is your legal support after experiencing an emotionally trying and even traumatizing event. That's why it's important to make sure you find the right attorney for you.

Tips for Choosing the Best Attorney To Handle Your Wildfire Lawsuit

With so much risk of wildfires in California and so many wildfire attorneys, how do you find the right attorney for you? This decision could mean the difference between winning or losing out on compensation for your wildfire damages. Here are tips for choosing the best attorney for your California wildfire lawsuit.

Inquire About Their Experience Handling Wildfire Claims

First, look for experience. Have they handled wildfire personal injury claims before? Have they had success in wildfire settlements or won monetary compensation for their clients in trial? 

Some law firms refer to their "combined experience" in a particular area of law. This means the culmination of all the years of experience that all attorneys have at the firm. With 20 years of combined experience, one attorney might have 18 years of experience while the other has only two. 

It may help to look deeper into the experience of the individual attorneys. Two years of experience might not be bad if they've met with great success, but more experience is better.

Check Their Online Reviews

Don't just consider what the attorneys tell you about themselves. What their past clients say is more important. Of course, the details of specific cases will be confidential, but you can get useful feedback from past clients by looking up a lawyer's online reviews. 

Try to search for reviews from third-party sources, as attorneys may only feature good reviews on their websites. Keep in mind that one bad review might be just as biased as one good review. Instead, take a look at a few of the recent reviews and search for patterns. If multiple clients complain that the wildfire attorneys at a particular firm struggled with communication and availability, it might be a concern. If multiple reviewers mention the compassion of their wildfire attorneys, that might be reason for confidence.

Have Them Explain How They Would Go About Handling Your Case

From there, it's time to question the wildfire attorney themselves. You may be able to schedule a free consultation in which you can bring up your case and ask for their opinion. This consultation requires no commitment. If you decide you're not satisfied with the attorney at the end of the consultation, you can move on. 

During the consultation, ask the attorney how they would go about handling your case. This will be different for each case. For instance, is wildfire covered by insurance in your case? This may mean looking into the insurance policy, filing an insurance claim, and negotiating with insurance companies. Your attorney can handle the negotiation to make sure your claim isn't downplayed or distorted by insurance adjusters to get out of paying you what you deserve. 

There are other variables to explore that will affect how the lawyer handles your case. Are you taking legal action against an individual or a corporation? Is the case about property loss or the death of a loved one?

You want to find an attorney who is knowledgeable and skilled with your type of wildfire claim as well as compassionate and driven in their advocacy of your rights. 

Ask What They Expect Your Potential Compensation Package To Look Like

Monetary compensation will also depend on your particular case. There are two types.

  • Economic damages: Monetary losses such as lost wages, medical bills, disability, property damages, and funeral costs.
  • Non-economic damages: Emotional and mental damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of activities, and loss of companionship or consortium.

Your wildfire attorney may not be able to precisely predict what the defendant will offer in a settlement or what the court will decide to award. However, their experience should give them a good idea of what you should attempt to receive and your likeliness of winning it.

Get an Experienced Wildfire Attorney on Your Legal Team

After devastating wildfires lead to property loss or loss of life, Daniels Law is here for you. We are local California wildfire attorneys, and we have an extensive profile of successful legal cases. We're happy to answer any questions you may have about your wildfire lawsuit in an initial consultation. Contact Daniels Law today to learn more or schedule your first meeting.

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