Falling Trees Can Cause Injuries
Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with. Heavy rains and severe wind gusts have brought down trees and large limbs lately. Injuries from falling trees and branches can be very serious.
Who’s at Fault for Injuries from Falling Trees?
A homeowner’s policy of insurance may cover claims for bodily injury or property damage caused by a falling tree or limb that is located on his property. Civil law sorts out what constitutes harm from nature. Generally, individuals are not liable for “forces of nature” types of harm. But, there may be a liability when someone fails to appropriately maintain their property. For example, when a falling tree or limb comes down after a storm and someone is seriously injured. As much as we would like to protect ourselves from what the insurance industry refers to as “Acts of God,” failing to secure damaged property (such as a tree or limb) after a storm can have far-reaching civil, criminal, and financial consequences. If you have been seriously hurt by a falling tree or tree limb it is time to call an experienced personal injury lawyer.
People Suffer Injuries from Falling Trees Every Year
A 75-foot pine tree fell last year in Pasadena, California. Kids from a summer camp operated by Kidspace Children’s Museum were waiting for their parents to arrive to pick them up when the tree came crashing down. In that incident several children received injuries. Two of those children were critically hurt.
Tree Owner has a Duty to Inspect
If you are seriously hurt by a falling tree or heavy branch, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries whether it happened on private or public property.
California Law Pertaining to Injuries From Falling Trees
Under California law, the owner of the property has a duty to inspect all of his or her trees on the property. This is done to determine how hazardous or healthy these trees may be. If a tree is found to be a hazard, the owner of the property should remove the tree or hazardous limbs at once.
If the owner of the property knew or should have known that a tree posed a hazard and did nothing about it, he or she will likely be liable for the injuries.
If the owner of the property did not know that a tree posed a hazard or dangerous condition, the question may become one of whether or not a reasonable property owner with the same type of tree, should have known if this type of tree posed a hazard.
Another important element is whether or not the property owner maintained and properly trimmed the tree.
What if I am Injured by a Falling Tree or Limb?
Immediately contact a Sacramento Tree Injury Lawyer who understands the complexities and unique circumstances of these types of cases. You see, the faster an attorney can get a tree expert (arborist) to the accident scene the better the chances will be for proving liability. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t be your fault that your neighbor’s tree crashed into your home. You have the right to be compensated for your personal injuries and/or property damage.
Tree Expert (Arborist)
An arborist is the type of expert your personal injury attorney will use to investigate your claim. Their prompt inspection of the scene will oftentimes strengthen a claim for damages. The arborist will look for evidence of a tree being improperly maintained. The arborist will report on the condition of the tree prior to it falling. An arborist will test the tree for disease and determine if a tree was properly planted, maintained and inspected. The experienced arborist can play a crucial role in determining if the property owner was aware or not aware of a tree posing a hazardous condition.
Cases Involving Public Entity Trees and Shrubbery
Cases involving a public entity’s failure to properly build and maintain locations with trees or shrubbery are very difficult cases. Unfortunately, there may be many traps for the unwary accident victim. Take a look at this presentation. It is by a firm that defends public entities. Nevertheless, it gives a very good summary of California law in this area. View slideshow here.
Sacramento Tree Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento tree injury attorney. Injuries from falling trees can be serious. I’ve been practicing personal injury law exclusively since 1982. If you need help pursuing a claim due to injuries or death from a fallen tree or fallen tree branch, I would be happy to review your case and represent you in your personal injury claim.
I have handled multiple injury claims due to fallen trees and branches and I understand the complexities of these types of cases. For free, friendly advice, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
Image Attribution: Pixabay