Southern California Natural Disaster Attorneys
Natural disasters like fires and floods are often devastating; moreso because afterward we seem to be left with no one to blame. You cannot file a lawsuit against a storm or claim damages for personal injury against an earthquake.
However, your homeowners insurance may provide coverage against some of these disasters, especially if you have additional coverage for certain events. An insurance claim can help offset the serious expenses we are often left with after such a catastrophe.
Oftentimes insurance companies fail to pay claims timely, fairly, or at all. When insurance companies refuse to honor valid claims, they act in bad faith. Fighting this kind of insurance claim denial requires a lot of work - insurance companies have teams of lawyers paid to protect them and save them money. You should not suffer so a company can maximize its profits for the quarter. If your claim has been wrongfully denied, or you have not been fairly compensated for your losses after a natural disaster, call NordstrandBlack PC today at (805) 962-2022 to discuss your case.
Natural disasters in Southern California include, but are not limited to:
- Wildfires: Among the most prevalent and serious dangers we face in Southern California are wildfires that threaten major cities and surrounding areas every year. The Thomas Fire of December 2017 was one of the largest disasters the Santa Barbara area has ever faced, and its repercussions will likely be felt for years to come.
- Floods: Even though California has had drought conditions for many years, floods are still a serious threat. Dry ground can only soak up a small amount of moisture, which means when rain does come, it is likely to create floods rather than help the plants growing around us.
- Mudslides: Rainfall does not just cause floods throughout California; it also creates dangerous mudslides that can sweep away people, cars, and entire houses. These disasters can stack on each other, as wildfires create optimal conditions for mudslides that occur after heavy rain, which also creates flooded streets.
- Earthquakes: Of all the natural disasters that can occur in California, earthquakes are the most unpredictable and impossible to avoid. While no one causes them, there are building codes in place to help protect people during an earthquake. If these codes are not followed, injuries and damages can occur that might have otherwise been avoided, and the contractor, building designer, or property owner may be held liable to pay for the damages.
Homeowners insurance does not typically cover all natural disasters, categorizing some events as "acts of God" that cannot be avoided or predicted. In high-risk areas, such as along a flood plain or a natural fault, insurance companies generally do not cover those specific natural disasters under a homeowners insurance policy, but may offer them as a supplemental insurance for a price. This kind of coverage is very valuable in Southern California.
After the fire season of 2016, many insurers refused to renew thousands of California homeowners’ residential policies in high-fire-hazard areas. Private insurers use computer algorithms to "risk score" a home, and use that data to decline to renew or write policies covering those risks in those areas. It is important to know your homeowners policy and your legal rights when it comes to dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster, and a California natural disaster attorney will be able to help you with that.
Insurance companies have lawyers on staff at all times to protect them and help them maximize their profits. After a natural disaster where many people are affected, they have an increased motive to minimize payouts. Fighting against them by yourself is like trying to climb a mountain without the right training and equipment. You need a knowledgeable attorney to represent you and help you fight against your claim denial. Contact NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to put us to work for you.
- When "The Big One" Hits, Which Buildings Will Stand?
- Which Disasters Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
- California Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows, And Debris Flows (DR-4353) - FEMA