How can I get legal help with insurance, FEMA, and repair or contracting issues?
The California State Bar has added a page on its website with ways to get legal help with these issues: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Need-Legal-Help/Free-Legal-Help/Legal-Help-After-Disaster
Additionally, Alameda County Bar Association is offering free legal assistance to fire survivors on insurance, FEMA, and repair contracting issues: the website is https://www.acbanet.org/volunteer-legal-services/bay-area-resilience-collaborative/ and the hotline number is 415-575-3120.
Another resource is United Policyholders (UP). UP is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource on insurance issues. They have put together additional resources specifically for fire victims: http://www.uphelp.org/blog/north-bay-fires-insurance-claim-help
I lost many of my important documents, how can I get additional copies?
Your insurance is required to provide you a copy of your policy upon request. Contact your insurer right away to get a copy of your policy to know what your benefits are.
California: For a limited time, you can obtain copies of your California tax returns filed with the FTB at no charge to replace lost or damaged tax returns: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/misc/3516.pdf or contact (800) 852-5711.
For business owners: You can obtain BOE tax records lost in the wildfires, free of charge by calling (800) 400-7115.
Federal: Copies and transcripts of federal tax returns from the IRS are free and expedited for fire victims. The form you need can be obtained here https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506.pdf or by calling (866) 562-5227.
For a limited time period, fire victims may be able to replace your driver’s licenses, state identification cards, vehicle registrations, and titles for no charge at your local DMV, by calling (800) 777-0133, or going online at www.dmv.ca.gov.
Birth, Marriage, or Death Certificates
For a limited time, fire victims may also obtain certified copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates and divorce records for no charge from the Office of Vital Records. More information is available at their website: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Vital-Records.aspx.
In Northern California, Lieff Cabraser represents victims of the North Bay and Camp Fires as creditors in the PG&E bankruptcy. Elizabeth Cabraser serves on the PG&E Fire Victims Trust Oversight Committee. In litigation against Southern California Edison on behalf of thousands whose whose homes, businesses, and lives were devastated by the Thomas Fire and mudslides in late 2017 and early 2018, and by the Woolsey Fire in late 2018. Lieff Cabraser partners Lexi Hazam serves as Co-Lead Counsel, together with Lieff Cabraser partner Robert J. Nelson as to the Thomas Fire litigation. We are investigating a wide range of legal claims on behalf of those displaced, injured and otherwise affected by this latest series of fires.
Read more information about wildfires and the rights of fire victims.