On August 8, 2023, fallen power lines in Maui started a blaze that was initially put out, then reignited later that day. This began a series of wildfires that tore through Western Maui, primarily in the town of Lahaina. So far, Maui County is left with billions of dollars in structural damage and loss of crops, along with countless injuries to residents and visitors.
Fatality is another tragic impact of the wildfires, and so far, 115 people have died as a result of smoke inhalation, burns, and other injuries according to the Maui Police Department. Sadly, only around 50 of these victims have been identified, meaning there are many families out there who are trying to find out what’s happened to their loved one. This number, by the way, does not account for the people who are still missing. The initial count was 385, but this is only an estimate that continues to change as more people on the list come forward or family members contact authorities to file a missing person’s report.
Essentially, we still have a long way to go before we have an accurate count of how many people lost their lives due to negligence by one or more entities. Even those that survived the fires are left with significant losses, including injuries from smoke and toxic chemical exposure. No matter what, there’s no denying the magnitude of losing someone you love and knowing that the cause of their death was preventable.
Did you lose a spouse or family member in the Hawaiian wildfires? You may be eligible for a wrongful death compensation claim against Hawaiian Electric, Maui County, and any other entities that played a role in this tragic incident. To learn more about your rights from a Hawaii Fires wrongful death lawyer, please contact our office.
Who is Responsible for the Hawaii Wildfires?
Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer at the moment. But there’s no denying that some degree of negligence was involved in why these fires spread so quickly and caused such extensive damage. Here’s what we know so far:
- Power lines maintained by Hawaiian Electric Industries fell down on the morning of August 8th due to high winds.
- The prolonged hot and dry weather coupled with increased vegetation in the area caused a fire where the power lines had dropped.
- Maui County firefighters declared that the fire was contained by 9:55 AM, then left the scene to respond to other calls.
- A second fire started in the afternoon and ripped through the town of Lahaina with exceptional speed, due to wind gusts that topped 60 miles per hour.
So far, Hawaiian Electric has pointed the finger at Maui County for declaring that the fire was contained and leaving the scene. Maui County officials countered that argument by saying that the fire wouldn’t have started if the utility provider had taken better care of their power lines. In addition, they allege that the company failed to shut off power in spite of weather conditions (exceptionally high and dry winds) that were likely to cause a fire.
In essence, the two parties are engaged in a war of words, in a desperate attempt to avoid liability for billions of dollars in property damage and bodily harm to residents, including death. Ongoing investigations will reveal more information that will help us determine exactly who is at fault for these fires. In the meantime, injury victims and their loved ones can seek legal advice from a lawyer with experience in accidental deaths from natural disasters.
Available Compensation for Surviving Family Members
Monetary compensation is not meant to replace the person you lost or the role they played in your life. Frankly, those elements are irreplaceable, no matter what type of punishment is handed to the people that caused the untimely death of your family member. Rather, wrongful death benefits are meant to cover financial losses that are associated with the victim’s passing. You can also receive compensation for intangible losses, which have to do with the emotional trauma that comes with losing someone to a tragic circumstance.
Below is a list of the possible damages you can recover from a Hawaii wildfires wrongful death lawsuit:
Representation from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorney
- Funeral expenses
- Cost of medical services / treatments up until the date of death
- Loss of income and other financial benefits associated with the decedent
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Legal fees
There is no way to avoid the fact that these are complex legal cases, especially for those whose loved ones passed away from the effects of burn injuries and other dangerous conditions. And it’s likely that more people will die in the upcoming months due to long-term effects of toxic chemical fumes and fire-related health conditions.
Uncovering the truth, gathering evidence, and building a strong case requires help from an experienced death by negligence lawsuit attorney. That’s why legal representation is highly recommended, even though it’s not required by law. At the very least, you should take advantage of a free consultation at our law firm. This is your opportunity to learn about the legal process and make an informed decision as to whether a lawsuit is in your best interest. Furthermore, a personal injury lawyer is your best source of information if you have questions, such as:
- How long do I have to file a wrongful death compensation claim?
- What is the average settlement amount for a Hawaii fires wrongful death lawsuit?
- How long will it take to receive payment from a Maui wildfires negligent death case?
- Who is the best person in the family to file a lawsuit for wrongful death?
- What if I’m the step child of someone that died in the wildfires in Hawaii? Can I file a lawsuit?
These are just some of the issues that may play a role in the legal process for a Hawaii wildfires claim for wrongful death benefits. To ensure that you have the most accurate information, please schedule a free case review with one of our attorneys.
No Cost Legal Services for Maui Wildfires Victims
It’s been several weeks since Maui was devastated by a series of wildfires, but there are still many questions that need to be answered. This includes the total number of missing and dead individuals in the town of Lahaina and surrounding communities. Truth be told, the County of Maui and Hawaiian Electric are more interested in shifting the blame rather than helping those who lives are forever changed by their actions.
Our legal team is here for you, day and night, if you lost a loved one in the recent series of fires in Hawaii. Our sole motivation is to uncover the truth of how and why these fires were started, and do everything in our power to bring justice to the victims. As we fight for the compensation you deserve, you won’t need to worry about the cost of hiring an attorney, as we are a contingency-based law firm. We also have a Zero Fee Guarantee policy in place, so if we don’t win your case, you won’t be charged a single penny in legal fees.
For a detailed discussion on your rights and legal options, contact the Hawaii fires wrongful death lawsuit lawyers of DTLA Law Group.