CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Tracy Tree Accident Lawyer

trees

An improperly maintained tree or limb that falls and exposed roots along a walkway can cause a severe injury. Several years ago in Tracy, a huge tree limb fell and destroyed a motor vehicle along 10th Street where diners were outdoors enjoying their meals at a nearby restaurant. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the outcome may have been serious had the tree been located closer to those diners. 

How Tracy Tries to Preserve Their Urban Forest

People enjoy the beauty of trees as well as the shade they provide. Tracy is a town that has encouraged tree plantings to create an urban forest for all to enjoy. The General Fund Tree Division is currently replanting thousands of trees that have been lost over the years. 

What if I Am Injured by a Falling Limb or Tree?

A Tracy tree accident lawyer at AutoAccident.com can help you obtain compensation if you suffer a tree-related injury. The lawyers at our firm are skilled at seeking damages against negligent property owners and other entities liable for tree maintenance injuries. As your legal advocates, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injury. Contact us for our free and friendly advice by calling (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.

Why Do Heavy Limbs and Trees Fall?

Several conditions can cause a limb to fall and the tree itself. The drought has not helped conditions since lack of water can stress a tree and allow disease or insect pests to weaken it. Other causes include storms, lightning strikes, and traffic collisions where one of the vehicles strikes a tree. In addition, fast-growing trees tend to be weaker and have shallow root systems, which increases their tendency to fall or lose a limb. 

Do I Need a Permit To Remove a Tree in Tracy?

Whether you require a permit to remove a tree on your property depends on the size and species. When a tree presents a safety or health risk, if it is a protected native tree, it cannot be removed without permission from the city. 

A permit may also be required to trim or cut down trees between a sidewalk and the street on the city properties. Removal may require the use of a licensed contractor to do the job. However, this is at the discretion of the city director. Some of the trees that are protected in California include the following:

  • Oaks that are at least 4 feet tall and have a diameter measured in inches
  • Sycamore
  • Black walnut
  • Willow
  • Boxelder
  • Oregon ash 
Tree Removal and Care on City Property

Under the Tracy Municipal Code, either the Public Works Director or the Parks and Community Services Director is in charge of maintaining trees and other plants in public areas. They have the authority to trim, replace or remove trees and certain shrubs that are along a planting easement or right-of-way if they are determined to be hazardous, diseased, or in some other way a danger. 

What Types of Accident Injuries Are Caused by a Falling Limb or Tree?

Weighing thousands of pounds each, trees are hefty. This means that even a falling limb can have serious consequences. Trees and their limbs that fall can result in a wide variety of dangers, such as the following:

  • A falling tree or heavy limb can crush the top of a motor vehicle, resulting in traumatic injuries and fatalities.
  • A falling limb can seriously injure a person, depending on its size and weight. A traumatic brain injury, fractured bones, or spinal cord trauma are the most common injuries and can be life-threatening.
  • Falling trees and branches can cause electric shock or electrocution to someone nearby when they drag down power lines.
  • In addition to upheavals caused by tree roots as they grow, the damage to sidewalks can create trip hazards that can cause serious injuries such as facial and head trauma, broken bones, and lacerations.
  • Tree trimmers often suffer serious trauma when working. If an employer fails to take adequate safety precautions, they may be held liable.
  • When foliage and trees are overgrown at intersections, drivers often have difficulty seeing, which increases the risk of accidents. More vulnerable roadway users such as bicycle riders, pedestrians, and motorcyclists can be severely injured or killed by blocking intersection views.
What Are Some of the Native Trees Commonly Found Around Tracy?

There are 16 trees native to the area that may be found around town. These include the following:

  • Fremont cottonwood
  • Blue and black elderberry
  • Boxelder
  • Valley Oak
  • Red, sandbar, shining, yellow, and arroyo willow
  • California buckeye
  • Goodding's black willow
  • Oregon ash
  • Northern California black walnut
How Do I Obtain Compensation When I've Been Hurt by a Falling Tree or Limb?

A Tracy tree accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve when an injury occurs. We send out investigators to determine how the accident occurred and use an expert witness to show the tree was dangerous and should have been trimmed or removed. Liability depends on whether the tree in question was private or city property.

A premises liability lawsuit can be filed if a tree is on private property, which holds the homeowner/homeowners responsible. Either their insurance company can pay for your losses, or the case can be taken to civil court to obtain fair compensation. In a premises liability claim, the injured party has up to the two-year statute of limitations to file. If the claim is filed after that date, it will not be heard in court.

  • If the tree is on city property, a claim may be placed against the government entity responsible for maintenance and removal. Because filing a lawsuit against a government entity is more complex and has a much shorter statute of limitations, having a Tracy tree accident attorney help might be recommended. The claimant has six months from the time of the accident injury to file. Other deadlines may occur, and your Tracy tree accident lawyer can help you file on time.
What Damages Are Recoverable?

Recoverable financial compensation is the same as in any personal injury claim. The following may be recoverable:

  • Medical expenses: All medical costs associated with the accident can be recovered. This includes the ambulance, hospitalization, physicians' bills, testing, surgeries, and rehabilitative care. If the injury has not been resolved by the time the settlement is reached, future medical costs can be factored in.
  • Lost wages: Wages that were not recovered due to the injured party's inability to work can be claimed, as well as pension and insurance benefits, bonuses, tips, and others. If the individual is permanently disabled by the accident, the tree accident attorney from Tracy can include wages until the person's normal retirement age. Those losses are figured in if that injured party can return to work but has to take a lower-paying job.
  • Pain and suffering: physical, emotional, and psychological pain can be given a monetary value and be recovered as compensation with the help of an injury lawyer

The following video by attorney Ed Smith explains what to look for when seeking legal advice:

Tracy Tree Accident Lawyer

If you have been seriously injured by a falling tree or branch, a Tracy tree accident lawyer can make a big difference in your case. Our AutoAccident.com injury attorneys have the resources, drive, and determination to help you successfully resolve your case. Our verdicts and settlements page illustrates some cases in our track record of successful wins. By calling (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400, you can reach one of our attorneys for free and friendly advice. We are also accessible online.

Photo attribution: Photo by 김 대정 on Pexels

:cd llo [1288] bw

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"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.
★★★★★
"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
★★★★★
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
★★★★★
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
★★★★★
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
★★★★★
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.