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Maui Wildfire Attorneys

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In early August of 2023, a series of devastating wildfires swept across Hawaii, inflicting severe damage on West Maui, particularly the town of Lahaina. The impact has been overwhelming, with the Associated Press (AP) confirming 115 deaths and many more individuals still unaccounted for as of August 24, 2023.

As time has passed since the fire, we have learned more about what went wrong—including serious safety failures. At the same time, a lot more investigation into the incident is still required. Victims and families affected by the Maui wildfire of 2023 deserve justice.

At Oaks Law Firm, our Maui wildfire attorneys stand as compassionate, experienced, and driven advocates for victims and families. We’re here to provide clarity on your legal rights and options. Reach out today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

The Catastrophic Toll of the August 2023 Wildfire in West Maui

The Lahaina wildfire is a staggering tragedy, potentially ranking as Hawaii’s largest natural disaster. As of August 24th, 2023, Governor Josh Green reported 115 fatalities, and the number of missing individuals remains uncertain, with the potential for further increase. The fires laid waste to hundreds of homes and businesses, inflicting an estimated financial toll in the billions.

President Joe Biden’s declaration of a major disaster ensures federal assistance, rental support, and FEMA grants to help the affected individuals and businesses in Maui.

Unveiling a Comprehensive Investigation (Utility Lines Suspected)

The memory of California’s catastrophic wildfires is fresh, and parallels are emerging between the 2023 Maui fires and the 2018 California “Camp” wildfires. According to The Washington Post, “power lines likely caused Maui’s first reported fire.” The inadequate maintenance of utility lines played a significant role in the devastating 2018 Northern California wildfire, which claimed 85 lives and razed nearly 20,000 structures.

Shane Treu, a Maui resort worker, witnessed the fire’s inception as a power pole snapped due to fierce winds, dropping a live line onto dry grass. Treu’s 911 call and his attempt to combat the blaze using a garden hose were documented in a Facebook livestream. An in-depth investigation is currently in progress.

Class Action Lawsuit Represents Maui Wildfire Victims & Wrongful Death Cases

The rapid wildfire spread has spurred a class-action lawsuit targeting the utility company accountable for over 100 fatalities. Documents have come to light suggesting that Hawaiian Electric, the company responsible for powering over 1.4 million state residents, was aware of the wildfire risk and the effectiveness of preventive power shutdowns. This strategy has already demonstrated success in other states, including California, for minimizing wildfire hazards.

Class action lawsuits empower a collective group of individuals to take legal action against a defendant—often a corporate entity. To achieve class action certification, potential plaintiffs must typically share similar claims against the defendant. This consolidated approach streamlines the legal process and enables Maui fire victims to jointly pursue justice.

Maui Wildfire: November 2023 Update on the Investigation and the Claims

A comprehensive investigation into the Maui wildfire of 2023 and its effects is still ongoing. On November 6th, 2023, the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) released updated insurance claims data on the West Maui wildfire. More than 200 different insurance providers contributed to the report. Here is what we know about this data: 

  • Residential Property Damage: The DCCA estimates that there was a total of $1.3 billion in residential property damage. However, as of early November of 2023, less than $700 million was paid out in insurance claims. 
  • Motor Vehicle Damage: The DCCA estimates that there was a total of $25 million in residential property damage. However, as of early November of 2023, less than $21.5 million was paid out in insurance claims. 

To be clear, this is only preliminary data. There is still an enormous amount of work that needs to be done. Beyond that, there have been many millions of dollars in commercial property damages sustained because of the 2023 West Maui wildfire.

Maui Wildfire Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Could the Maui Wildfire Have Been Avoided?

The possibility of preventing the terrible West Maui Wildfire is a topic of multiple ongoing investigations. Here is the key thing we know: There is strong evidence that this tragedy could have been prevented if only all parties had taken the proper safety precautions—especially Hawaiian Electric. Notably, the Maui County Council, the Hawaii Office of the Attorney General, and several federal agencies are involved in examining the events before, during, and after the fire. 

Will Lahaina Be Rebuilt After the Maui Wildfire? 

Yes. Indeed, the efforts to rebuild Lahaina are already well underway. Of course, there is still a very long way to go and it is undoubtedly going to take years before things look anything close to normal in the community. The devastating 2023 West Maui wildfires damaged thousands of structures and took far too many lives. State agencies, federal agencies, private groups, and the local community are collaborating in the recovery process. Financial assistance is still being provided—with FEMA and other agencies contributing to the rebuilding efforts. 

Has the Final Cause of the Maui Wildfire Been Determined?

Technically no—and the final “official” determination will likely take some time if one is made. Still, it would be a mistake to conclude that we do not know much about what happened. There is strong evidence that a downed power line may have sparked one of the major fires that swept across West Maui and caused devastation to Lahaina. Notably, Meteorologists and climate researchers also point to several contributing factors, including Hawaii’s dry season and drought conditions. 

Are Maui Wildfire Claims Still Ongoing?

Yes. Maui wildfire claims are still ongoing and there will be many more years of claims—both against insurance companies and, likely, against other parties. As a collective, early estimates indicate that the residents of West Maui reported nearly $1.3 billion in losses. Far less than that amount has been paid out as of November of 2023. The State of Hawaii and the federal government continue to collect insurance loss data, and thousands of insurance claims for residential property, personal motor vehicles, and other damages have been reported. 

What Should I Do If I Think I Have a Maui Wildfire Claim?

Be proactive. You need to take immediate action to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Of course, if you believe you have a claim related to the Maui Wildfire, it’s important to follow the correct procedures. The Hawaii Insurance Division provides detailed information and guides on filing a claim. Beyond that, you should not hesitate to consult with a top-tier Maui wildfire claims attorney. A lawyer who has the professional knowledge and legal expertise to take on these types of cases can review your situation and help you determine the right path forward. 

How Can Individuals Contribute to the Recovery Efforts in Maui?

People can contribute to the recovery efforts in Maui in various ways. Donations of essential items like food, clothing, and blankets are helpful. Beyond that, for those who live in or near Lahaina, volunteering with local community groups and organizations involved in the recovery process is another way to contribute. Of course, financial donations to reputable organizations providing on-ground support can also be significant. Finally, spreading awareness and encouraging support is also useful to help with disaster relief efforts. 

What Long-Term Measures are Being Considered to Prevent Future Wildfires in Maui?

The research is still underway. In response to the 2023 West Maui Wildfire, there have been calls for a more effective long-term solution. Many measures are being considered to enhance fire prevention and improve fire response—from developing more comprehensive early warning systems to implementing stricter regulations on land management in fire-prone areas to investing in better firefighting infrastructure. Beyond that, clearly more needs to be done to reduce the serious wildfire risk caused by power line issues in West Maui and other parts of the island.

How the Attorneys at Oaks Law Firm Can Assist with the Devastating Maui Wildfires

The Maui wildfire tragedy could have potentially been mitigated or even prevented with due care. At Oaks Law Firm, we specialize in managing mass tort claims and class action lawsuits, focusing on the needs of people and families, rather than corporations or insurance giants. Our mission revolves around offering personalized guidance and unwavering support to Maui wildfire survivors.

Our Maui wildfire lawyers are prepared to:

  • Listen to your narrative, address legal queries, and outline future steps.
  • Conduct a comprehensive case investigation, collating pertinent evidence.
  • Devise an all-encompassing strategy to secure justice and maximum compensation.

We Represent Victims and Families On Contingency Fee

Many people are worried that retaining a high-quality attorney is not an option for them. You never should worry about the cost of securing top-tier legal representation. At Oak Law Firm, we fight for victims and families on a contingency fee basis. With deep experience handling mass tort claims and class action lawsuits, our legal team only gets paid when our clients get paid. There are no upfront fees or hourly bills. Contact us right away for a free review and assessment of your case.

Receive Assistance from a Maui Wildfire Lawyer Today

Oaks Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for justice and redress for Maui fire victims in dire need. The Maui wildfire demands a thorough examination. Should you have any inquiries or concerns about a Maui wildfire claim, we’re here to guide you.

Call us or contact us online to arrange a free, fully confidential consultation. We’re actively ready to stand for individuals and families impacted by the West Maui wildfire.

CALL TODAY! (877) 539-5366

Recovering the Damages You Deserve

If someone else is to blame for your injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for the full amount of damages you've suffered. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, as well as pain and suffering. You must bring forth your claim within one year of the accident date. Not filing your case within one year will bar you from recovery.

Matt and his associates work very hard for me, both from a legal and a personal perspective. His staff makes me feel like my total wellness is their goal, and that I'm restored, physically and financially!
-Duane L.
Timely and professional manner. I am greatly appreciative they are representing me.
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Professional, courteous. They go beyond attempting to assist you in getting what you need to get done.
-Christopher F.
My experience here was fantastic they took care of everything. There were absolutely no problems when it came to the actual work and with the communication. I never once fell out of the loop and I knew where my case was at every step of the way. I will never go to anyone else.
-Ani K.
Working with Oaks Law Firm has been easy and informative. They do a great job of follow ups and keeping you informed of every step of your case. They are easily reachable and good at getting back to you when they are out of office. They are very detailed and fight until the end for you. I highly recommend Oaks Law Firm.
-Eric B.
I absolutely love this Law Firm, the staff there are wonderful and very caring. They are responsive to my needs and questions plus the lawyers are very professional and aggressive resulting in the best care and maximum penalty payout. I wouldn't chose another Law Firm.
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Excellent Law Firm. Oak's Law Firm made the whole process simple and painless.
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It was a pleasure working with the attorneys and the staff here at this firm. I've read a lot about people complaining about lack of communication from attorneys, but not this one! I would definitely recommend Matthew and his staff for injury related cases.
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Easy to talk to, they always return calls & cater to clients. I'm glad I chose Oak's Law Firm to represent me.
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Love you guys so much, Helped me out so much and got me back way more than I thought. Also, I will refer you guys to friends & family and if needed in the future, I will definitely be a return client.
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