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Fremont Tree Accident Lawyer

fremont tree accident lawyerThe law firm of AutoAccident.com has represented several clients who sustained serious injuries caused by falling trees and tree branches.  Our lawyers have the expertise necessary to anticipate and overcome the challenges involved with Fremont tree accident cases.  We think that landowners who do not keep up with the maintenance of their trees should be held responsible for the economic and non-economic damages suffered by anyone injured due to the dangerous condition of their neglected tree. Because tree accident cases are complex and present many unique variables, it is important to promptly find a lawyer with experience in such cases. 

Fremont Trees Can Fall

Throughout the City of Fremont, trees and tree limbs crash to the ground on occasion.  This presents a danger if anyone or anything is below the tree.  When such an event occurs as a person is walking by, severe injuries or even death can result.

Cities in Northern California have an increased risk of falling trees given our extensive urban forests coupled with the region’s tendency toward drought conditions.  When we have an especially dry winter, trees become weaker and prone to breakage.  Combine drought conditions with frequent winds, and the risk of falling trees and tree limbs becomes substantial.  

For nearly 40 years, our law firm has handled complex personal injury cases, including several claims involving catastrophic injuries caused by tree accidents.  Our experience means we know what to do if you or someone you love needs legal help for an injury claim resulting from a falling tree or tree branch.

Fremont Tree Accident Cases – Common Injuries

Given the physics involved with heavy falling objects, the injuries resulting from tree accidents are often severe and sometimes fatal.  Common injury types seen in tree fall cases include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Concussion
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Fractured skull
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Broken clavicle
  • Broken ribs
  • Other bone injuries/fractures
  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Paralysis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Death

Many tree accidents cause head injuries.  Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a commonly seen condition in such cases. TBI often results in some level of permanent disability, which leads to a decrease in the injured party’s quality of life.  Catastrophic injuries also have long-term implications for the victim’s family.

Fremont Tree Accident Cases – Potential Monetary Damages

Here are categories of monetary damages that may be available for recovery in a Fremont Tree Accident case:

  • Economic damages, including past and future medical expenses and past and future wage loss.
  • General damages are also known as non-economic damages, and this category incorporates pain and suffering, diminished enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.
  • Loss of consortium may be available to your spouse, if applicable, based on the negative impact the accident and your injuries had on the marital relationship.
Fremont Tree Accidents: Who Owns the Tree?

The owner of a tree on private property is determined by the California Civil Code, Sections 833 and 834.  It all depends on the location of the tree trunk.  If the trunk is contained fully within one lot’s boundaries, that lot’s owner is the tree’s sole owner.  If the tree trunk is positioned across two or more lots, each of the landowners is considered a joint owner of that tree.

Duties of a Private Tree Owner

Owners of private property must maintain their trees to ensure that they do not pose a danger to others.  If an owner knows of a tree’s hazardous condition and fails to remedy it, the tree owner will be found liable (legally responsible) for damages if the tree causes injury to another person.  

Liability may apply to a tree owner even if a reasonable person should have known that the tree’s condition was dangerous.  Due to the complexities involved in proving owner knowledge, it is important to retain an attorney who has litigated tree accident cases.

Fremont property owners have even more responsibilities about tree maintenance than those who reside in other California cities.  The additional responsibilities are outlined in the section below, “Fremont City Trees.” 

Fremont City Trees

Fremont is a little different from other Northern California cities. The city returned the responsibility for maintaining street trees back to property owners in 2010 due to cuts in the city’s budget and staffing.  The requirements for city street tree maintenance can be found in the Fremont Tree Preservation Ordinance, which states that the owner of a lot with a frontage along a public street is responsible for the maintenance of the street trees and other landscaping that grow along with that frontage.  Maintenance responsibility extends to the street right-of-way adjacent to the lot, including any park or parking strip that falls between the street line and the property line.

A property owner’s obligations to maintain street trees and landscaping are extensive and can be found at this link: City of Fremont.  

The ordinance states that a property owner owes a duty to the public to maintain in a safe condition the street trees and landscaping in their property’s adjacent street right-of-way and/or street frontage.  It further states that the property owner will be liable for injuries and damages if a dangerous condition of those adjacent city trees harms a person.  Further, the ordinance says that the city of Fremont will have an indemnity cause of action against the property owner if the city is required to pay any judgment or settlement of a claim resulting from injury to persons or property stemming from the property owner’s failure to maintain a street tree as outlined in the ordinance.

Filing a Claim for a Fremont Tree Accident – Time Limits

California’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years.  In most cases against a private property owner, a tree accident case would need to be settled or a lawsuit filed before the subject incident’s second anniversary.  If the injured person is a minor, the two-year time limit begins to run when the minor turns 18 years of age.

Claims against a public or government entity require quicker action.  Often a claim must be filed within months, or your rights may be lost.  Contact a Fremont Tree Accident lawyer to ensure that your legal rights are preserved.

Approved City Trees – Fremont, California

Trees approved by the City of Fremont for planting in the right-of-way are:

  • Blue Oak
  • Cajeput Tree
  • Brisbane Box
  • Chinese Pistache
  • Cork Oak
  • Coast Live Oak
  • Golden rain Tree
  • Ginkgo
  • Jacaranda
  • Hornbeam
  • Red Maple
  • Plum
  • Shumard Oak
  • Red Oak
  • Trident Maple
  • Sycamore
  • Zelkova
Property Owners Should Invest in Tree Maintenance 

Proper maintenance of your trees performed by a certified arborist can protect your financial assets.  As discussed in the sections above, the monetary damages associated with injuries caused by a tree accident can be astronomical.  It makes good financial sense to invest in regular inspection and maintenance of your trees.

Watch the YouTube Video created by a certified arborist offering tree pruning tips.

Fremont Tree Accident Lawyer

Hello, and thank you for reading.  My name is Ed Smith, and I am a Fremont, California tree accident lawyer.  I have nearly 40 years of experience in complex personal injury cases.  If you or someone you love was injured by a falling tree or tree branch, my firm may be able to help.  Call us for free and friendly advice at (510) 631-0200 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400. 

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

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