Richmond Tree Accident Lawyer

tree

Trees in Richmond provide shade, beautify the surroundings and make homes for all types of small animals, birds and insects; however, in certain instances, they can be dangerous to humans. When you suffer an injury caused by a falling tree or limb, a tree accident attorney in Richmond can help you recover medical expenses, lost wages and more. 

Because of the ongoing California drought and violent storms, trees weakened by the elements can suddenly drop a large branch or even topple over, causing injuries or fatalities. Richmond residents undoubtedly remember the big storm that hauled through the San Francisco Bay area in October 2021, including in Richmond, that toppled dozens of trees and even blew over several big rigs. 

Injuries Caused by Trees: Compensation Claims

Injuries caused by a falling tree or a heavy limb can be devastating to an unsuspecting person in their path. Property owners and government entities can be held liable for injuries and fatalities caused by tree hazards when they fail to maintain or remove them when the danger of them falling exists. Whether you were injured or lost a loved one as a result of a falling limb or tree, a Richmond tree accident lawyer can assist you in recovering fair compensation. 

Trees and Limbs That Fall Can Cause Serious Injuries

The weight of a tree depends on its variety, but Garden Tabs estimates it can reach two million pounds. This is easily enough to crush a passing motor vehicle or cause serious damage to a house and anyone inside. For someone walking underneath a heavy limb as it comes down, the result can be devastating. Among the injury risks posed by a falling tree or limb are the following:

  • Drivers can be blocked from seeing at intersections by overgrown trees and other foliage. In an intersection with obstructed views, pedestrians, motorcycle riders and bicyclists are more likely to be involved in traffic collisions or accidents.
  • Motor vehicle occupants can be fatally injured or killed by falling trees or heavy limbs. In many cases, the vehicle is crushed, requiring emergency extrication of passengers by the fire department and lengthening the time it takes for the person to be transported to a hospital.
  • Tree trimmers may suffer fatalities or serious injuries if they fall or become trapped while trimming trees. In cases where an employer fails to take proper safety precautions, they can be held liable for injuries to a worker with the assistance of a Richmond tree accident lawyer.
  • It is the size and weight of the heavy limb that determines the extent of an injured person's injuries. It is important to note that trauma can be life-threatening, including injuries to the brain, spine and internal organs.
  • On sidewalks and other areas, roots cause upheavals that cause trip hazards, resulting in fractures and serious facial injuries.
  • Branches or trees that fall and drag down power lines may cause serious shock or electrocution as well as present a fire risk.
Compensation for Tree Accident Injuries

Following trauma to an injured party or the loss of a loved one, a Richmond tree accident attorney can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. A claim filed against a private citizen or company, however, has a different statute of limitations than one filed against a government entity. Personal injury claims against private individuals have a two-year statute of limitations. The best course of action is to get started right away since an investigation has to be conducted and evidence gathered to support your claim.

Government Claims for Tree Accident Injuries 

There is a six-month deadline for filing government claims. A 45-day response period is then given to the government entity. There is an additional six-month window to file a lawsuit if the claim is denied. You have two additional years to file a lawsuit if the government entity does not respond. 

Having a Richmond tree injury lawyer by your side ensures that the appropriate at-fault parties are held accountable and that claims are filed before the statute of limitations expires. Also, evidence can disappear or be hidden, so it's imperative that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. 

Richmond Has a Wide Variety of Trees. Which Ones Do You Find Most Often?

Richmond has the distinction of being one of the coolest places in the state with an average summer high of 75.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers are long, dry and warm with short, wet, cold winters. However, according to a study performed at the University of California in Berkeley, that’s all changing. 

Between 1895 and 2010, warming has increased faster in Richmond than the global and national rate, and the temperature has gone up by 2.2 degrees. Although these may seem like minor changes, it can have a devastating effect on trees in the area.

Fast-growing trees tend to have shallower root systems and are inherently weak. This makes them more likely to drop heavy limbs or fall. Some of the fast-growing trees that are popular to plant in the Richmond area include:

  • Jacqumontii birch
  • Cut leaf weeping birch
  • Weeping willow
  • Balsam poplar
  • Northern black cottonwood

The city of Richmond has removed these fast-growing trees and replaced them with others. However, these and other fast-growing trees may still be present on private properties. 

Eight types have been added to the list of replacement trees to provide diversity. These are:

  • Frisia black locust
  • Nootka cypress
  • Vanderwolf pine
  • Swedish aspen
  • Serbian spruce
  • Oriental spruce
  • Idaho locust
  • Bristly locust
If My Injury Occurs on Private Property in Richmond, Who Is Responsible?

If a tree or limb falls and injures someone on the property, California law specifies that the owner is responsible for the injury. Under California Civil Code 833-834, if a tree falls or comes down on someone on a homeowner's property, they're responsible for accident injuries. If a limb or tree straddles the property line and injures or kills someone, both homeowners are liable.

In Other Locations, Who Is Responsible for Tree Accidents?

In an accident caused by a falling tree or a heavy limb, responsibility depends on where the injury occurred. The Richmond Recreation and Parks Department is responsible for public areas such as streets, alleys, boulevards, parks and the strips between sidewalks and curbs, according to the city's Municipal Code. It is the superintendent's responsibility to have the city trees trimmed, planted and maintained. Additionally, the department is responsible for the removal of trees and plants that may pose a threat to the public. 

Attorney Ed Smith presents several items to look for when seeking legal assistance:

Tree Accident Attorneys in Richmond, CA

I am Ed Smith, a tree accident lawyer in Richmond. In the event of an injury or death caused by a falling limb or tree, you may be entitled to compensation if negligence was the cause. We offer free and friendly legal advice when you phone us at (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400. Please feel free to contact us online as well. You can talk to us about your case, ask questions and find out what options are available for recouping damages. Visit Verdicts and Settlements if you would like to find out how we have helped others in recovering the compensation that they deserve.

Photo attribution: by Giani Pralea from Pixabay 

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