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San Ramon Tree Accident Lawyer

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San Ramon Tree Accident Lawyer

treeBay Area trees are abundant and beautiful.  They are also prone to damage because of the Northern California climate.  Throughout the year, dry winters and winds cause San Ramon trees to drop limbs or crash entirely to the ground without any warning.  Extensive property damage, injuries, and even death can occur when this happens in a populated area.  When a poorly maintained tree falls and causes injuries, it is crucial to seek legal counsel from an injury attorney with experience in complicated San Ramon tree accident cases.  The lawyers of AutoAccident.com have expertise in navigating the challenges that are associated with fallen tree cases.  When we encounter a resistant insurance company, we will not hesitate to fight the case in court.  Our law firm believes strongly that injuries caused by negligence should be vigorously fought to hold the negligent party responsible for the damages their action (or inaction) has caused.

If you sustained injuries due to a tree or tree limb falling on private property or public/government land, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal assistance.  To preserve evidence, one must act promptly.  Additionally, if your injuries occurred on public property, the time limit within which a claim must be filed is likely only a matter of months.  

In this article:

Beautiful Yet Dangerous San Ramon Trees

San Ramon has a Mediterranean climate, much like the rest of Northern California.  The region enjoys very warm summers, and many years must endure dry winters that result in drought conditions.  The dry ground affects the health of trees.  Drought conditions, coupled with frequent strong winds, combine to pose a significant risk of trees and tree limbs crashing to the ground.

San Ramon Trees & the Injuries They Can Cause

Several trees that grow abundantly in the San Ramon area include:

  • Hollyleaf Cherry
  • California Laurel
  • Tanoak
  • Curl-Leaf Mountain Mahogany
  • Blueblossom
  • California Way Myrtle
  • Pacific Rhododendron

Such large, majestic trees can death or catastrophic injuries if they are not well maintained and fall or drop limbs.  In our experience, the following injuries are common when a person is struck by a falling tree:

Monetary Damages Available in a San Ramon Tree Accident Case

AutoAccident.com will conduct a no-obligation consultation and claim evaluation if you call about a San Ramon tree accident that caused injuries.  We will evaluate the facts of the incident to determine whether we can help you obtain compensation for your damages.  Potential areas of monetary recovery include:

  • Medical expenses to date as well as estimated future medical costs
  • Income loss, including loss of future earnings and earning capacity
  • Emotional distress, pain, and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of your life

Additionally, under some circumstances, your spouse may also be entitled to monetary damages based on the negative impact your injuries had on the marital relationship.

San Ramon Trees – Who Owns Them?

Our state’s Civil Code determines the owner of a tree based on the location of the tree trunk.  If the trunk is located fully within one land plot, the owner of that plot is responsible for the tree.  Sometimes tree trunks span adjoining properties, and in that case, the tree is jointly owned by each landowner.

San Ramon Tree Owner Responsibilities

The owner of a private tree is responsible for the maintenance of that tree.  If the tree owner knew, or should have known, of a hazardous condition on the property and failed to take action to remedy the danger, the owner can be found liable (legally responsible) for any injuries and/or damages the dangerous condition caused.  To avoid such issues, it is recommended that the trees on your property are inspected and maintained by a certified arborist.  The cost of such maintenance will surely be far less than the damages that can be caused by a tree falling.

Owner Awareness

The most direct way to establish tree owner negligence is to prove the landowner had “actual knowledge” of the hazardous condition but did nothing to address it.  Many times, this will be admitted by the owner outright, but even if it is not, actual knowledge can often be established anyway.  If a dangerous condition is clearly visible to the owner and the owner was in the presence of the dangerous condition on a regular basis, it can be argued that the owner must have had actual knowledge of the condition.

Relatedly, but somewhat more difficult to prove is the concept of  “constructive knowledge.”  In order to prove constructive knowledge, it must be argued that a “reasonable person” would have had an awareness of the dangerous condition.

To hold a property owner liable for damages in a San Ramon tree accident claim, owner negligence must be established.  An experienced attorney will understand this and give you your best chance at proving negligence.

Insurance Companies Try to Find Loopholes

When owner negligence has been established by proving actual or constructive knowledge, as discussed above, the property owner must reimburse the injured party for damages caused by the hazardous condition on his or her property.  In most cases, the claim will go through the homeowner’s insurance.

Insurance adjusters do not like to pay money on claims and will try to find a reason not to.  Often with tree accidents, the adjuster will argue that the tree falling was due to an unpredictable force of nature, sometimes referred to in insurance policies as an Act of God.  Here again, is another reason a skilled San Ramon tree accident attorney is invaluable.  They know about these evasion tactics used by insurance companies and will be able to argue against them.  It is a rare circumstance when a tree accident was 100% unavoidable.  Even when the tree falls due to severe weather, there is usually some element of foreseeability, and any neglected maintenance can be argued as a contributing factor.

San Ramon Tree Accidents – Time Limits for Your Claim

The statute of limitations in which a California personal injury claim must be settled or filed with the court is usually within two years of the subject incident.  That time may be extended if the injured person was not yet 18 years of age at the time of the incident.

If a tree accident occurs on public or government-owned property, the time limit to act is much shorter – often only a matter of months.  This is one more reason to get a skilled attorney on board as soon as possible after the incident.

Watch the YouTube video:  The news reports a woman killed by a falling tree on a San Ramon golf course.

San Ramon Tree Accident Lawyer

I’m Edward A. Smith, and I am a tree accident lawyer in San Ramon, California. If you or anyone you love has been injured in one of the many tree accidents that occur each year in Northern California, reach out to us today for free and friendly advice at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.12.20]

Photo by Nqobile Vundla on Unsplash

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