Property Owner’s Duty to Inspect
Under California law, property owners have a duty to inspect their trees to determine if they are healthy or hazardous, and remove branches or the tree itself if it poses a hazard. The legal test is whether the property owner knew or should have known that a tree posed a hazard. If the answer is yes, and the property owner fails to act, then the property owner is legally liable for injuries or damage that result from the falling tree or tree branch. Such damage can include physical injuries, lost wages, and property damage, e.g., damage to your car, house, etc.
Let’s say you notice that a tree on your property looks unhealthy. You call out an arborist, who tells you that the tree is diseased and in danger of falling in strong winds. If you do nothing about it, and the tree does fall and injure someone, then you will likely be on the hook for the person’s injuries.
Another scenario: let’s say a tree on your property is diseased, but looks fine. You have no reason to suspect that there is anything wrong with the tree. If a branch falls off the tree and injures someone, you will likely not be liable for the injuries.
Whether the property owner should have foreseen the potential for harm depends on the type of property involved. If the property involves a large and remote tract of heavily wooded land, then the owner could not reasonably be expected to maintain the trees on the property and to remove dead branches from them. However, if the property involves a residential lot, harm to others may be more foreseeable, which increases the owner’s duty to maintain the trees.
Some trees varieties are more likely to be hazardous because of their top-heavy growth and shallow roots. But even stable tree varieties can become hazardous due to improper pruning. Some pruning techniques can make a tree structurally unsound and more likely to fall:
• Topping a tree – cutting the top off, usually for increased light or view
• Lollipopping – cutting the lower branches and leaving a tuft of growth at the top
• Lion-tailing – trimming the inner branches to leave growth on the ends
An arborist’s inspection of the tree or branch right after the accident may help strengthen your case. The arborist can determine not only whether the tree was improperly pruned but also what condition it was in prior to the fall, which will help establish whether the property owner should have known the tree posed a danger.
If you or someone you care about has been injured by a falling tree, you should consult with a personal injury attorney to learn your rights.…
Property Owner’s Duty to Inspect
In a traffic accident it may not only be the car and driver that suffer damage or injury. Any passenger in the car at the time of the accident may have to file an accident compensation claim due to the injuries sustained. It is also fairly likely, due to their lack of role in driving the vehicle that they have no blame attached to them for the accident.
A large number of accidents occur each year in which, unfortunately people sustain injuries of varying degrees that can have a negative impact on their lives and sometimes their long term prospects of life as it was prior to the accident. You could be a passenger in a car, bus, taxi, train, plane or on a motorcycle and sustain injury due to the actions of others. Whatever the type of transport in which you are travelling when you sustain your injuries you are entitled to file an accident compensation claim.
You are more likely to be seriously injured if you are the front seat passenger of the vehicle involved – even in some cases by those passengers sitting behind you who are thrown forward by the impact. It may be that the driver of the vehicle in which you are travelling is also free from blame in the accident.
As a passenger being transported in a vehicle of any type and you are involved in an accident you have a right to be protected from harm by the person in charge of the vehicle, ie, the driver. There is a legal duty of care to protect the safety of passengers and if this is breeched in a way that causes injury, the injured party can file an accident compensation claim. This claim is usually against the insurance company of the driver or the person who caused the accident.
Any claim for injury compensation depends on the extent of the sustained injuries and the impact the injuries on your every day life. For example, in cases of extreme injuries it may be that the injured party may need long term care. Their previous life style may have been completely destroyed. With lesser injuries there may be short term problems, but given time a full recovery is made. Each case will be assessed based on individual circumstances.
If you have been involved in an accident as vehicle passenger and have sustained injury it is important that you receive immediate medical attention at the time and seek expert legal advice as soon as possible who will ensure your accident compensation claim is filed correctly to give your claim the best chance of success.…