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Vallejo Tree Accident Lawyer

tree

Trees showcase the beauty of Mother Nature, but when they become deadly, you can benefit from consulting a Vallejo tree accident lawyer. When a tree or heavy limb comes down, it can leave devastation in its wake if an unsuspecting person is in its path. Because property owners and government entities carry the responsibility of maintaining their trees and removing those that present a hazard, they can be held financially liable when an accident injury or fatality occurs.

If I Am Injured by a Tree on Private Property in Vallejo, Who Is Responsible?

California law is specific on liability for an injury caused by a falling limb or tree. Under California Civil Code 833-834, if the trunk of a tree stands on one homeowner’s property, they are responsible for any injuries it may cause. However, if the tree straddles a property line, then both homeowners hold responsibility for any injuries or fatalities that occur if a limb falls and injures or kills someone by filing a premises liability claim.

What Kind of Injuries Can Happen in a Tree Accident?

Serious injuries often result when someone is struck by a falling tree or limb. The weight, force, and height of the tree or limb can influence how serious the injuries are. Some of the most common types of trauma seen in this type of accident include:

What Compensation Can I Receive by Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

A person who is injured in a tree accident can claim the following losses:

  • All medical costs associated with the accident are recoverable.
  • Lost wages, including tips, bonuses, and insurance and pension coverage can be recovered.
  • Loss of consortium, love and affection by the spouse is recoverable.
  • Pain and suffering can include emotional and psychological trauma.
Who Is Responsible for a Tree Accident in Other Locations?

Responsibility in a falling tree accident or one where a heavy limb injures someone depends on location. In Vallejo, public areas such as parks and the strips between sidewalks and curbs come under the jurisdiction of the city’s Public Works Department. The director of the Public Works Department is responsible for trimming and pruning trees that may present a hazard. The department is also responsible for removing trees and other plants that are potentially dangerous. 

Can I Trim a Tree on Public Property in Front of My Home?

Tree removal and even pruning are carefully regulated, and if a homeowner, company, or others want to cut one down or remove branches in a public area, they are required to obtain a permit to do so. A permit is not required if the homeowner or other entity is removing suckers, broken or diseased limbs, or the overgrowth is impeding pedestrians from using a sidewalk. Otherwise, the city periodically sends its own crew to do the work.

In areas such as shopping centers, apartment buildings, and businesses, the owners are responsible for the maintenance of their trees and their removal if they become a danger. If a tree falls and either injures or kills someone, the owner of the property would be liable.

What Type of Trees Are Commonly Found Around Vallejo?

Vallejo has a subtropical climate and lies within planting zone 9-b, which has hot summers and a long growing season. Redwoods and Sequoias thrive there. However, fast-growing trees are often planted in the area, such as the following:

  • Bald cypress
  • Cottonwood
  • Chinese tallow tree
  • Monterey pine
  • Red willow

The problem with fast-growing trees is that their wood is notoriously brittle and weak. Trees that have softer wood tend to grow crotches with close angles and forks that can be damaged by time, strong winds, and the added weight of ice or snow. In addition, they are more susceptible to diseases such as canker, and because they grow fast, their root system tends to be shallow. These fast-growers increase the risk of heavy limbs falling and the tree itself toppling over suddenly. 

What Are Common Causes of Injuries Due to a Limb or Tree Falling?

Trees can weigh anywhere from 1,000 to two million pounds, according to GardenTabs. This means that even a falling limb has the ability to cause traumatic injuries to someone on the ground. Some of the dangers of a falling limb or tree and their results include:

  • Injuries from a heavy limb that lands on a person depend on its size and weight. However, trauma can be life-threatening and include traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord damage and more.
  • Electrocution or shock can occur if a branch or tree falls and drags down a power line.
  • Tree roots cause upheavals in sidewalks and other areas that present a trip hazard that can result in a variety of injuries, such as facial trauma and broken bones.
  • Overgrown trees and other foliage can obstruct a driver’s view, especially in intersections. An obstructed view at an intersection can cause a traffic collision or accident involving a pedestrian, motorcycle rider, or bicyclist.
  • A falling tree can land on a motor vehicle, causing fatalities or severe injuries to the occupants inside.
  • Workers trimming trees can fall and suffer a fatality or serious injury. When a lack of proper safety precautions by the employer are the cause, they may be held liable.
Obtaining Compensation Following a Tree Accident

A Vallejo tree accident attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve following an injury or because you lost a loved one. However, the statute of limitations for filing a claim against a private citizen or company is different from those filed against a government entity. You have two years to file against a private citizen or other entity. 

In government claims, you have six months to file a claim. The government entity then has 45 days in which to respond. If the claim is denied, you have an additional six months in which to file a lawsuit. If you receive no response from the government entity, you have an additional two years in which to initiate a lawsuit. Enlisting the help of a tree accident attorney from Vallejo will ensure that the appropriate at-fault parties are held responsible and claims are filed on time before the statute of limitations runs out. In addition, evidence can disappear or be covered over, so contacting a lawyer to handle your claim as soon as possible is important. 

In the following video, attorney Ed Smith discusses how to select a good personal injury attorney for your case.

Vallejo Tree Accident Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, a Vallejo tree accident lawyer. When you’ve suffered an injury or have lost a loved one due to a falling limb or tree, you have the right to obtain compensation if negligence was the cause. Contact our injury lawyers at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 for our free and friendly advice. We can also be reached online. We can look over your case, answer your questions and tell you about options to recover compensation.

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Photo attribution: by Peter H from Pixabay 

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