Every year, our area of the country deals with wildfires. However, increasing year-after-year, these fires have grown in intensity, frequency and acreage burned. And, this year has broken nearly all records, leading to billions of dollars in damages, which lead one utility, PG&E into bankruptcy.
Last year, the utility company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after downed powerlines caused fires to burn hundreds of thousands of acres and over 100 deaths. As a result, PG&E was forced to pay out $25.5 billion, along with an additional $11.7 billion to mitigate wildfire risk. Unfortunately, this year, again, PG&E’s equipment is thought to have caused more fire damage.
Increased fire risks
Changing climate conditions, reduced autumn rains, rising temperatures and increasing wind speeds are creating what experts are calling “tinderbox conditions” in San Diego and throughout California and the western U.S. Indeed, according to one wildfire expert, these conditions have caused an additional 4.2 million hectares of wildfire damage since the 1980s.
What PG&E’s bankruptcy means to us?
First, bankruptcies limit liabilities, so those thinking that they may have a claim against PG&E should contact an attorney immediately. However, more importantly, it shows that well-funded and financially well-off businesses can be crippled by these increased fire risks, which means insurance companies are equally at risk. This is yet another reason for those in San Diego, California, to contact an attorney immediately after experiencing a wildfire event. They can ensure that one’s rights are protected and that wildfire victims receive all the compensation they are entitled to under the law.