Antioch Tree Accident Lawyer

tree

Heritage trees such as the Coast Live Oak and California Buckeye are protected in Antioch, which shows the respect and care they show toward the local plant life. From Antioch City Park to the woodsy feel of Hillcrest Avenue, it is a nature lover’s delight. Despite this, falling trees and heavy branches can cause devastation to unsuspecting people. The property owner and government agency responsible for tree maintenance can be held financially responsible if a death or injury is caused by a falling tree or limb with the help of an Antioch tree accident lawyer.

In Antioch, Who Is Liable for My Injury on Private Property?

When a tree or limb falls and injures someone, California law specifies that the property owner is liable. California Civil Code 833-834 says that if a tree stands on a homeowner's property, they're liable for accident injuries if a limb falls or the tree comes down on top of someone. Both homeowners are responsible if a limb or tree falls and harms or kills someone if it sits on the property line. Having assistance from an Antioch tree accident attorney can help ensure the appropriate negligent persons are held responsible. 

In a Tree Accident, What Kinds of Injuries Can Occur?

The impact of a falling tree or limb can lead to serious injuries. There can be a significant difference in the severity of the injuries depending on the size, weight and force of the tree or limb. These types of accidents often result in trauma of the following types:

Can I Obtain Compensation for My Injury?

Tree injuries may entitle you to recover a number of damages:

  • Medical costs: Medical expenses related to the accident can be recovered from your hospitalization, surgeries, medicines, testing and specialists to physical therapy.
  • Wages: An injury attorney can assist you in recovering lost wages as well as your insurance and pension benefits, bonuses and other monies you would have earned if you had been able to work.
  • Pain and suffering: Recovery of damages for the physical, emotional and psychological pain suffered can be compensated.
When a Tree Falls in a City-Managed Area, Who Is Responsible?

The location of the accident determines who is responsible for a falling tree or a heavy limb injury accident. Antioch's Public Works Department manages areas such as parks and green strips between the sidewalks and curbs. Trees and other plants that may be dangerous are also removed by the department. 

What Are the Regulations in Antioch to Remove a Tree?

A development application or permit is required to remove a protected tree anywhere within the city. The permit can be obtained either from the Department of Parks, Leisure and Community Services or if it has been approved for development application. The City Engineer may approve the removal of a tree if it presents an immediate hazard. Trees on residential properties may be removed by the homeowner without a permit if they are not on the protected list, are below a certain size or add to land stability. Local residents can contact the Planning Division at 925-655-2700 to find out if they require a permit.

Tree maintenance and removal are the owners' responsibility in areas such as shopping centers, apartments, and businesses. An owner of a property would be responsible if a tree fell and injured or killed someone.

What Type of Trees Are Commonly Found Around Antioch?

Antioch has a dry-summer subtropical climate, which places it in the 9-b planting zone. Summers tend to be very warm, and winters are relatively mild. This area is often planted with trees that grow quickly, such as:

  • Blue elderberry is a really fast-growing tree and can reach 15 feet in about three years.
  • Red willow is a popular fast-growing tree planted in Antioch. In 10 years, one can reach about 50 feet in height.

Other popular trees in the area include:

  • Coast live oak
  • Fremont cottonwood
  • White alder 
  • Arroyo willow
  • Goodding’s black willow

Trees that grow fast are known for their brittle, weak wood. Time, strong winds, ice and snow can damage trees with soft wood because they grow crotches that have close angles and forks. Due to their rapid growth, they tend to have shallow root systems, making them more prone to diseases such as canker. Fast-growing trees are more prone to falling limbs and coming down suddenly, especially during a storm. 

How Do I Know if a Tree is Dangerous?

Taking care of your trees is important if you don’t want your property damaged or someone injured. Some of the areas to look for dangers in the trees on your property include:

  • An obvious indication that your trees may be dangerous is if they have hanging, dead or broken limbs. Cracks and splits in a big limb are a sign that having them removed can prevent an accident if there are high winds or storms moving through the area. If the tree is in serious decline, having it removed by a professional is a good idea.
  • Keep an eye on the tree’s bark. If it is discolored or peeling in spots, it could indicate it has fungus or some other disease. Taking a photo into a local tree nursery could give you more information. 
  • Damaged roots often don’t show up immediately and may appear years before you even know you have a problem. Signs to look for are when tree growth is limited, branches are dead, leaves easily wilt and foliage becomes thin. Getting the opinion of a professional can be wise to find out if the tree remains strong or has to be pruned back or removed.
  • An overburdened canopy can signal problems. What is an overburdened canopy? That’s when the crown of the tree is really wide, and it has lots of large branches and limbs lower down. This type of poor structure can cause a heavy limb to fall at any time because the tree can’t support all that growth.
Getting Compensation for a Tree Accident

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a tree accident, you may be entitled to compensation. It is worth noting, however, that the statute of limitations for filing a claim against a private citizen or company differs from those for filing a lawsuit against a government entity. The deadline for filing a complaint against a private citizen or privately owned company property such as a grocery store is two years. 

There is a six-month deadline for filing government claims in California. An Antioch tree accident attorney can ensure that the right parties are held accountable and that claims are filed on time before the statute of limitations expires. The evidence can also be covered over or disappear, so it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. 

Attorney Ed Smith offers information in the following video on some things to look for when seeking legal assistance:

Antioch Tree Accident Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, an Antioch tree accident lawyer. It is possible to recover compensation if a tree or limb falls on you due to negligence, causing a loved one’s injury or fatality. We can provide you with free and friendly advice when you call our legal team at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. Alternatively, you can reach us online. You can ask us questions about your case, and we can tell you how you can seek compensation after setting up a free consultation with one of our injury lawyers either virtually or in-person. If you would like more information about our law firm, please visit our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Photo attribution: Image of Joe on Pixabay

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