Carpinteria Man Killed by Falling Tree


Carpinteria Man Killed by Falling Tree

I’m Ed Smith, a Carpinteria personal injury lawyer. Recently, a Carpinteria man died as a result of a tree-trimming accident at Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara County, which is located between Point Conception and Gaviota.

What Happened?

Emergency responders were called to the ranch about 10 o’clock in the morning on April 10 when it was reported that a man on the property had been impaled by the limb of a tree. Upon arrival at the ranch, the man, 35, was declared dead. According to the office of the county sheriff in Santa Barbara, a tree trunk had fallen on the man. Fire crews en route to the accident site were cancelled. The coroner’s office in Santa Barbara is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident. It is uncertain at the time of this report whether the man was actively involved in the tree-trimming operation or a bystander.

California Liability for Tree-Trimmer Accidents

In California, contractors who perform work valued at $500 or more are required to be licensed. a tree trimmer is required to obtain a C61/D49 contractor’s license when working on trees of 15 feet or higher. An individual looking to hire tree service should check with the California State License Board before hiring a worker and insist on a copy of the contractor’s licensing status and insurance certificate for protection.

Under Labor Code § 2750.5, an individual who hires a worker who is not licensed is working as an employee of the homeowner. Without a license that is valid, the tree trimmer cannot be held as an independent contractor. On the side of the homeowner, the homeowner cannot be held liable for worker’s’ compensation unless the worker has performed labor for 52 hours within the 90 days preceding the accident.

Premises Liability

In California, a homeowner has the responsibility under California Civil Code 833 & 834 of inspecting the trees on his or her property to make sure they are in good condition. In the event the trees are not healthy, the property owner is responsible for having the trees removed or shorn of dead branches. If this is not done, a premises liability lawsuit may be filed.

If someone is injured due to an unmaintained tree, the property owner might be considered liable for the damages. In the event that a tree falls during or immediately after a dangerous storm, the property owner might still be held responsible if precautions were not taken to secure the tree prior to the storm.


Attorney Ed Smith

Carpinteria Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, and I’m a Carpinteria personal injury lawyer. When an accident happens, give me a call locally at (805) 372-0200. The toll-free number is (800) 404-5400. I am available to give you friendly and free advice about your case.

Since 1982, I’ve been practicing as a California lawyer, and I have assisted many injured individuals receive just and fair compensation for their injuries.

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