Mosquito Fire Lawsuit

If you have lost your home or business to the Mosquito Wildfire, you may be entitled to recover more from your insurance claim than your insurer is telling you. You also may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for starting the fire. The cause is still under investigation, but PG&E may be responsible.

The Mosquito Fire started during the evening hours of Tuesday, September 6, 2022, near OxBow Reservoir in Placer County, east of Foresthill. The Sacramento Bee reported that the blaze had consumed 6,900 acres as of Thursday morning and spread to 13,700 acres the same afternoon. By Friday afternoon, nearly 30,000 acres were ablaze.

As of  Wednesday, September 14, the fire had consumed 58,544 acres and was 20 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. Nearly 6,000 structures are threatened by the fire, with at least 46 structures already destroyed. 

Unfavorable weather conditions, including low humidity, high temperatures, and high winds, have accelerated the spread. Firefighters are also faced with steep, mountainous terrain that makes containment difficult.

The attorneys at Cutter Law P.C. stand ready to help displaced homeowners recover the financial resources they need to rebuild their homes and restore their lives to the fullest extent possible.

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    What areas are impacted?

    The areas impacted by the fire are currently located in El Dorado and Placer counties, but as the fire spreads, additional areas may be threatened. As of the evening of Saturday, September 10, 2022, the following areas were under evacuation orders and warnings.

    El Dorado County

    Homeowners facing evacuation orders should evacuate immediately. The following areas in El Dorado County were under evacuation orders:

    • Volcanoville
    • Quintette
    • Bald Mountain
    • Grey Eagle
    • Canyon Creek

    Homeowners facing evacuation warnings should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. The following areas were under evacuation warnings:

    • Cool
    • Garden Valley
    • Swansboro/Slate Mountain
    • East Stumpy Meadow

    Placer County

    The following areas in Placer County were under evacuation orders:

    • Michigan Bluff
    • Baker Ranch
    • Crystal View Road
    • Downtown Foresthill
    • Zones 5, 6, 12, and 14
    • Todd Valley
    • Sky View
    • North Side of Foresthill Road
    • Spring Garden/Whitehawk Ridge

    Yankee Jims, Shirttail Canyon, and areas of Foresthill Road were under evacuation warnings.

    What caused the Mosquito Wildfire?

    The cause is still under investigation, but the Sacramento Bee reported that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has admitted that an electrical fault occurred on a transmission pole in the vicinity and close to the time the fire was initially reported.

    PG&E’s Criminal Record

    This would not be the first time PG&E has been implicated in wildfires in California. PG&E is responsible for at least 15 California wildfires. PG&E faces the possibility of criminal charges in the Camp Fire of 2018 and in up to 12 wildfires in 2017 after Cal Fire determined PG&E may have violated state laws.

    In fact, PG&E currently has 91 felonies and hundreds of misdemeanors on its record, mostly stemming from the Camp Fire, and more charges are pending.

    Damages Caused by Wildfire

    Wildfires may cause the following damages to homes and commercial properties:

    • Total destruction
    • Damage and loss of personal property
    • Smoke damage
    • Damage to property structures
    • Lost rent
    CUTTER LAW_DAMAGE CAUSED BY WILDFIRE_INFOGRAPHICS-01

    How can I recover from property destruction by wildfire?

    If your home or business is damaged by the wildfire, you have the right to file a claim against your property insurance. In most cases, your insurance provider is required to provide the coverage for which you paid. However, past California wildfire claimants have struggled to receive the payouts to which they are entitled.

    What does insurance cover?

    Homeowner’s insurance covers the cost of replacement or repair of your home, less your deductible, up to the coverage limits. It does not cover injuries you sustain as a result of the fire.

    How can I recoup damages from personal injuries caused by the fire?

    If you are injured in the fire, you may have a personal injury case against the party that started the fire. A personal injury lawsuit can also cover property damages not covered by insurance.

    Why won’t the insurance company pay for my claim?

    Insurance companies are historically more eager to collect premiums than to pay out claims, even when they are valid. Widespread damage claims from previous fires have forced insurance companies out of business and prompted many insurers to stop offering coverage in California.

    The result is that these companies unreasonably deny claims and misrepresent facts about your coverage. Our founder, Brooks Cutter, has been appointed co-lead counsel in class action lawsuits and has prevailed against large insurers including Aetna and State Farm.

    What if my insurance doesn’t cover all my Mosquito Fire damages?

    This has become a common issue since the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the supply chain. As a result, the cost of lumber and other building materials has drastically increased, and numerous supplies remain on backorder. Your insurance coverage may not be adequate to cover the cost of rebuilding at the current pricing.

    Your insurance also may not cover the cost of alternative living arrangements. In these cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the wildfire, which will most likely include PG&E.

    Photo of plumes from California Mosquito Fire

    How much compensation can I recover for my fire damages?

    The compensation available will vary depending on the particulars of your case. If you are severely injured, you may be able to recover additional damages related to the injuries, including medical expenses, property damage not covered by insurance, and pain and suffering.

    What if my family member is killed in the fire?

    After the tragic death of a family member in a wildfire, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for starting the fire. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover these types of losses. However, the responsible party can be held liable for such damages, including:

    • Funeral expenses
    • Burial expenses
    • Loss of companionship
    • Pain and suffering of the deceased
    • Lost lifetime earnings of the deceased

    What actions should I take if I am in the path of the fire?

    If you are in the path of a wildfire, your life and your health are your top priorities, but there are steps you can take to help with the rebuilding process.

    Evacuate

    The most important action is to get yourself to safety. No property is worth your life. You can rest assured that a qualified wildfire attorney can ensure that you are well-compensated for property you have had to leave behind, so you will have the resources you need to rebuild.

    Document

    Any documentation you can gather to show the condition of your property, including pictures and repair receipts, can be beneficial for insurance claims as well as lawsuits. However, an attorney can help you document this information if you cannot stay in your home long enough to gather it. Do not risk your life to get this.

    Seek Medical Attention

    The impact of smoke inhalation may not be immediately apparent. If you inhaled smoke at any point prior to or during your evacuation, seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will improve your chances of recovery. You can recoup medical expenses through your insurer or by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.

    Contact an Experienced Attorney

    Contact an attorney before you speak with your insurance company. This will ensure the claims process is handled in a manner that is most beneficial to you from the beginning.

    When should I contact an attorney?

    Contact an attorney as soon as possible after you are safe. Your insurance policy imposes strict time limits. State laws also impose deadlines on when you can file a lawsuit, known as statutes of limitations, and early involvement by an attorney ensures your attorney has adequate time to prepare a strong case on your behalf.

    How much does a Mosquito Fire lawyer cost?

    Cutter Law charges a percentage of your recovery as agreed upon beforehand. We do not charge upfront legal fees.

    How can a Mosquito Fire attorney help me?

    A skilled Mosquito Fire attorney can guide you through the insurance process and ensure your insurance company treats you fairly. Your attorney can also investigate your case, help you gather the necessary evidence, and present a strong personal injury case on your behalf.

    Why should I choose Cutter Law to represent me in my Mosquito Fire claim?

    The award-winning attorneys at Cutter Law have 130 years of combined experience helping clients recover maximum compensation for damages they suffer as a result of someone else’s negligence. 

    Cutter Law specifically has experience helping wildfire victims and holding insurance companies accountable that refuse to hold up their end of the policy contract when required to cover a claim.

    Our attorneys have earned recognition as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and a Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent rating, the highest rating available. If your home or business has been impacted by wildfire, you don’t have to fight alone. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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