What If You Are Injured By A Tree?

A tree is not something that most people would immediately recognize as a threat. After all, they don’t move, often provide pleasant shade during sunny days and, in some cases, bear delicious fruit that we all enjoy. But a tree in a human environment such as a town or a city is still a wild, uncontrolled, organism that will attempt to grow as much as it can, and, because of its organic nature, can fall prey to illness and even death.

As such, despite the fact that we want trees to beautify our urbanized environments, they still bring with them an element of risk, whether they are in public places like parks, or in someone’s backyard or front lawn, overlooking the sidewalk.

Trees, as difficult as it may be to believe, can actually injure people, and not through being the obstacles a car collides into, which is not the tree’s fault. The roots can rise up above the soil and cause people to trip, while the branches themselves can literally fall from the main body of the tree, striking people below. Without proper trimming, trees can even obscure important parts of the street, such as traffic lights which all drivers need to see in order to safely conduct themselves through streets.

How It Can Happen

If you, or someone you are with sustains an injury due to the presence of a tree, whether it is a bad fall over roots, a branch that drops and hits someone, or a traffic accident that is caused by trees obscuring a vital part of the street, then you are the victim of someone’s negligence.

A case like this is known in Florida law as premises liability. This means that if any injuries that are sustained on a property, the owner of that property is accountable for the damage and compensation if it can be proven that the injuries sustained were a result of negligence.

What this means is that if gnarled roots on the ground were a widely documented problem with previous complaints that the owner of the tree ignored, or if the branch that fell was clearly in the stages of rot but the owner did nothing, then a legal and financial accounting of the injuries you sustained are the responsibility of that owner. In some cases, this may mean a private citizen if the injury occurred at someone’s home, or even the sidewalk in front of someone’s home. In other cases, it may mean a municipal organization has to answer for the injury, as in the case of a public park.

What To Do

After checking for the extent of injuries and receiving any immediate treatment that may be required, you should seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer. A tree injury may not be as obviously straightforward as an automobile accident and there can be many factors that both you and the liable party will need to go over. There may even be a need to consult with an arborist or some other botany professional in order to precisely understand and assign blame in a case like this, so you should make sure you are prepared with an experienced accident attorney to guide you through this process..