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Stockton Tree Accident Lawyer

fallen tree

The cases handled by our law firm are not limited to automobile accidents. We expertly advocate for our clients about many types of personal injury matters, including those involving falling trees, branches, and limbs. Such cases can be complex and complicated. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries caused by a poorly maintained tree, an attorney with experience in that area will be immensely helpful. Negligent property owners are responsible for any injuries caused by their failure to properly maintain the trees on their land. Call us if you have suffered harm caused by a falling tree on private or public property.  

Injuries Caused by Neglected Stockton Trees

Because our firm has successfully litigated several tree injury cases, we have seen how much damage a falling tree can cause. Head injuries are commonly seen, as are injuries to the spine. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in permanent disabilities. Because tree limbs are so heavy, and they fall to the earth with such velocity, the injuries they cause can be catastrophic and are often fatal. 

Potential Compensation for Falling Tree Injuries

Economic losses caused by falling tree injuries can be extensive and can include:

  • Medical bills - already incurred expenses and for projected future treatment ordered by a physician
  • Income loss, including loss of future earning capacity
  • Noneconomic damages - pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium (for the injured person's spouse)
Who is Responsible for a Poorly Maintained Stockton Tree?

Trees maintained by the City are those that are found on public properties and easements. In most cases, trees planted six feet out from the sidewalk (or 8-10 feet in more recently built subdivisions) are also maintained by the City.

Trees that are on private property are the responsibility of the homeowner or landowner to maintain. If a tree or tree branch falls on a visitor to the private property, the property owner may be held legally responsible for injuries and damages. 

Under California Code, the location of the tree trunk determines the owner of the tree. If the trunk spans two adjacent properties, the two property owners are considered joint owners of the tree.

Duties of a Private Tree Owner

Homeowners and other private property owners have the duty to ensure that no dangerous conditions exist on their property. If an owner had Actual Knowledge (knew) or Constructive Knowledge (should have known) that a tree on their land was dangerous and did nothing to remedy the situation, the owner might be found legally responsible (liable) for any damages that result from the tree falling.   

A Skilled Stockton Tree Lawyer Can Prove Negligence

An experienced tree injury attorney can help establish negligence on the homeowner's part, which will be the key to recovering monetary damages. 

Insurance companies have many tactics that they use to try to get out of paying injury claims. In most homeowner policies, there is an exception for damages caused by a “force of nature,” which may also be referred to as an “act of God.”  If the tree branch fell during a windstorm, for example, the insurance company may try to deny any injury claim related to the incident. A skilled Stockton tree attorney will gather evidence that may prove owner negligence also played a part, which will be crucial in the pursuit of compensation.  

Homeowners - Inspect Your Trees

Private property owners can be held financially responsible if their neglected trees cause injuries to another person on their property. Investing in regular inspection and maintenance of the trees on your land can help protect you from such possibilities. The monetary award for a severe injury claim can be very significant. Medical bills alone are often astronomical.

Deadlines to File a Tree Accident Injury Claim

The time in which a person must settle a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit in the state of California is usually two years. However, if the negligent party that caused the injuries is a public or governmental entity, that time limit is much shorter - action must be taken within six months. This is just one of several reasons why you should promptly call a skilled Stockton tree accident attorney if you have been struck by a falling tree. 

Common Trees in Stockton, California

Below are some of the common, medium-sized trees that can be found throughout the City of Stockton.

  • Red Horsechestnut 
  • Autumn Blaze Maple
  • Bowhall Red Maple
  • Red Maple
  • Trident Maple
  • Strawberry Madrone
  • Eastern Redbud
  • Ginkgo
  • Western Juniper
  • Chinese Flame Tree
  • Golden Rain Tree
  • Southern Magnolia
  • Sour Gum, Tupelo
  • Chinese Pistacia
  • Fern Pine
  • Flowering Pear
  • Cork Oak
  • Interior Live Oak
  • Sawleaf Zelkova

Many of the trees in Stockton are dead, which presents a significant safety hazard. Watch the YouTube video below of a CBS13 news clip discussing this issue.

If you have been injured in a tree fall accident in Stockton, call an experienced attorney for assistance with your potential legal claim.

Stockton Tree Accident Lawyer

Ed Smith is a tree accident lawyer in Stockton, California, with more than 38 years of experience advocating for injured Northern Californians. Falling trees, limbs, and branches come crashing down with alarming regularity. They cause property damage and injuries every year. They have also caused several tragic wrongful deaths in our state. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries caused by a poorly maintained tree, call to speak with one of our injury lawyers at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400. We can set up a no-obligation consultation or simply offer free and friendly advice. 

Photo by Victoria on Unsplash

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"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
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"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
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