Do You Qualify to File an Insurance Claim About the Marshall and Middle Fork Wildfire in Boulder County?
On December 30, 2021, the Marshall and Middle Fork wildfires spread across 1,600 acres of land in Boulder City—particularly Louisville and Superior—forcing residents to evacuate their homes. In many cases, people lost their homes entirely or suffered severe property loss. CNN reported over 580 homes and other building structures were lost in the fire. An investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause of the wildfires.
If you or a loved one was affected by the Marshall and Middle Fork wildfires, you may qualify to recover compensation from an insurance company. Our legal team at Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, can review your case and help you take legal action so that you may be able to restart your life.Insurance Companies Owe Victims Affected by the Boulder County Forest Fires
Boulder County issued emergency information for residents affected by the wildfires, noting that residents may qualify for insurance coverage from United Policyholders and the Colorado Division of Insurance, among other insurers. Residents can also apply for FEMA assistance through the Individual Assistance Program.
That said, it is crucial to understand your rights as a displaced resident affected by the Boulder County wildfires:
- You are entitled to receive a copy of your insurance policy: When reporting your property loss to the insurance company, your insurer must provide you a copy of your insurance policy within three business days. You can also request a separate copy of your policy for your records, which your insurer must provide within 30 days.
- You can recover your current expenses if you keep receipts: After being displaced from your home, you likely face multiple expenses for renting a hotel room, buying meals, and getting medications or other necessary items. You should keep the receipts for each expense you pay out of pocket so you can include them in your claim.
Keep in mind that after natural disaster events, insurance companies may be resistant to providing the coverage you’re entitled to receive. As such, you can hire a personal injury lawyer to advocate for you and hold the insurer liable for your property loss.Filing an Insurance Claim Can Help You Recover Damages
Beyond property loss, victims of wildfires can suffer injuries like third-degree burns, respiratory problems from the smoke, and bone fractures from falling debris inside buildings. Because each case is unique, you may qualify to pursue compensation for other damages you experienced besides the value of your lost personal items. These damages include:
- Costs for medical treatment for your injuries
- Income loss if the wildfires also affected your place of employment and/or your injuries prevent you from working
- Property damage costs for items that weren’t completely lost
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, including psychological trauma
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement, such as burn marks caused by the fires
- Permanent disability
If you lost a loved one in the Boulder County wildfires
Unfortunately, there have been reports of fatalities caused by the fires, as reported by NBC. If you lost a loved one in the Marshall or Middle Fork wildfire, you may qualify to pursue wrongful death damages. This includes costs for funeral services and emotional losses caused by their absence.
While financial compensation cannot bring back your loved one, the award can help you take steps to recover practical needs in your life, especially if you lost your home.Overwhelmed Residents Can Hire a Lawyer for Their Case
Having a personal injury lawyer represent you and provide insight on your legal rights as a wildfire victim can bring you peace of mind. Our legal team at Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, is also following the ongoing investigation about the cause of the wildfires in case specific parties are named liable for the damages.
For example, The Denver Post issued a report about speculation on Christian religious sect The Twelve Tribes possibly being a liable party based on witness testimony. However, this has not been confirmed. Alternatively, if you did not receive the emergency signal to evacuate your area, you may be able to hold your local municipality liable for negligence.
How can a lawyer help you?
Personal injury attorneys can provide the following services:
- Investigating your case to identify the liable party for your damages
- Reviewing insurance policies to determine what coverage you qualify for
- Communicating with insurance adjusters and other legal parties on your behalf
- Collecting evidence for your case, such as receipts, footage that captured the fires, and eyewitness testimony
- Attending meetings to negotiate a potential settlement for your case
- Representing you in trial if necessary
Our legal team can manage your case while you focus on getting back on your feet. We will update you as we learn more information and if your case progresses forward.Resources for People Affected by the Colorado Wildfires
If you would like to learn more about resources available to you, CPR News provides a detailed list of:
- Disaster assistance programs, including FEMA’s contact information
- Directions to disaster assistance locations providing aid to residents in need
- Local information on whether residents can return safely in their neighborhoods
- Closed off areas
- Programs that can help you locate lost or missing pets and animals
- Evacuation centers
- Programs you can donate to if you would like to help others
- The local disaster assistance center can be found online here
If you or a loved one who lives in the Boulder County area lost their home or suffered other severe property loss because of the Marshall and Middle Fork wildfires, you may qualify to pursue compensation for those losses. A personal injury lawyer from Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, can review the relevant insurance policies to see what steps you need to take to claim financial recovery for your damages.
Call 303-543-1000 today to get a free consultation with our team. We will also follow the wildfire investigation closely in case a specific party is deemed liable for the Marshall wildfires.