SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Whether you were impacted by the California wildfires of 2017 and 2018 or not, you likely received a letter about the deadline for filing a claim against the utility if you're a PG&E customer,.
Many customers can put the notice aside, but, for people impacted by the fires linked to PG&E's equipment, the clock is ticking for you to a make an insurance claim and be eligible to receive money from the PG&E bankruptcy.
PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2019, because it faces $30 billion in potential damages from lawsuits over wildfires in 2017 and 2018. As ABC10 reported earlier this year, the bankruptcy filing will not make the lawsuits disappear, but it will result in all of the wildfire claims being consolidated into a single proceeding before a bankruptcy judge, not a jury.
What is the deadline?
The deadline to file is by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
Which wildfires and survivors qualify?
Customers with claims related to utility-related Northern California wildfires that happened in 2017 and 2018 (like the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. and Tubbs Fire north of the Bay) can file a claim against PG&E.
You can file a claim for any losses and damages including, but not limited to damage to homes or businesses, loss of personal property, personal injury or wrongful death, evacuation and displacement, emotional distress, lost wages or earning capacity, etc.
"Filing a claim is easy, free, does not require that you hire an attorney, and it takes less than 15 minutes," says Michael G. Kasolas, the special claims representative for benefit of file claimants who have not yet filed. "If you don’t know the value of your damages at this time, don’t worry! You can work that out at a later date."
How to file a claim:
With such a short window left, this may be the easiest way to file. However, the site does make it clear that if you already have a lawyer, you should contact them about the claim before filing online.
By Mail: Send claim documents to PG&E’s claims processing center, or in person at one of six PG&E claim service centers.
FOR NEWS IN YOUR COMMUNITY, DOWNLOAD THE ABC10 APP:
►Stay In the Know! Sign up now for ABC10's Daily Blend Newsletter