Judge set 12/31/2019 deadline to file fire claims
The judge overseeing the lawsuits against PG&E set a December 31st deadline to file claims related to wildfire losses. PG&E had set aside $10.5 billion to cover claims from the Camp Fire, according to the SF Chronicle. Bloomberg reports that PG&E’s proposal is to pay $14 billion total on fire claims (for not only the Camp Fire, but also the 2017 Northern California wildfires.
The size of any payouts may depend on how well the claim forms are filled out. An attorney can often help with the process.
If you missed the deadline, you forfeit your claim. PG&E will be permitted to discharge any liability it has towards you for the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. PG&E is going through a bankruptcy process that allows it to discharge its debts if claims are not filed before the deadline.
This isn’t like filing a claim for part of a settlement. You need to file a claim to keep your claim alive in bankruptcy court. But someone may still need to litigate your case afterwards. Just because PG&E is reserving money doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get anything. But we have an excellent track record against PG&E. No law firm in California has more experience against PG&E.
The process doesn’t end when you file your claim. The claims go to the judge, and there may be additional court filings or proceedings. If we represent you, we can file and appear on your behalf.
These claims are still part of a legal proceeding. If you wouldn’t represent yourself in a lawsuit, you may not want to represent yourself here.
Many people affected by the fires have the right to file claims, and may not know it. Failure to file your claim could leave more money for PG&E and its investors. Here are some common misconceptions about who is eligible for recovery:
It is NOT true that you can only file a claim if you owned a home that was destroyed by the fire.
You can file a claim for a number of different reasons, including loss of a rental home, loss of personal property, and adverse health effects caused by the fire.
It is NOT true that you can only file a claim if you had an insurance policy.
This is a court claim against PG&E, and is not dependent on your insurance policy. You can file a claim even if your insurance has already covered some of your losses.
It is NOT true that you must have documents to prove every item you lost in the fire.
You may be eligible to file regardless of if you have relevant documentation. In fact, the simple act of having to flee the fire may enable your claim.
It is NOT true that you can only file a claim if you lost a loved one or experienced personal injury.
Other reasons for filing a claim may include damage to your home or loss of personal property as a result of the fire.
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Our first case against PG&E was nearly 30 years ago. We know PG&E’s playbook and we use that unique knowledge to benefit our clients.
✓We have succeeded in trial against PG&E.
Our lead trial lawyer, Mike Danko, is the only lawyer in Northern California to have taken a case of this type all the way through to trial and verdict against PG&E. Since then, PG&E has offered settlements to our clients in many cases during or just before the start of trial. PG&E knows we are ready, willing and able to take a case to trial, and that approach helps us achieve the best results for our clients.
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We have been appointed by judges to leadership positions in large-scale cases against PG&E, including the 2017 North Bay Fires cases, the 2015 Butte Fire cases, and the 2010 San Bruno Explosion cases. Judges trust us to represent the best interests of fire & disaster victims.
Northern California Fire Lawyers is a coalition of prominent Northern California law firms: Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi & Riddle, Danko Meredith, and Gibbs Law Group. Our firms consist of seasoned trial lawyers, leading national personal injury attorneys, and experienced complex litigators. Attorneys on our team have been appointed by California judges to serve in leadership positions in a number of large, coordinated fire and disaster cases. We bring a deep knowledge of the systems and fire-prevention policies of major utility companies and are well-positioned to leverage the hard work from our previous cases to benefit our clients.