Liability for Falling Branches
North Carolina is known for its vast swaths of trees, and Greenville is no exception. In fact, just travel around Pitt County and you'll see many varieties of trees that add to the natural beauty of the area. But trees, as beautiful as they are, come with dead branches, and with dead branches comes the potential for them to fall and cause injury. Tree branches have the tendency to die and rot from the inside even though the rest of the tree looks fine. One moment you're walking along under a tree, the next moment the branch falls on top of you and causes you injury. Since trees are owned, either by the city or an individual, the issue of liability comes into play.
Who's Responsible for a Fallen Tree Branch?
In the event that the branch in question belonged to a seemingly healthy tree and there was no warning that it was about to fall, it's considered harm from nature. Technically, no one is responsible for the damage sustained from a fallen tree branch and the homeowner's policy usually covers the cost of injury.
However, there are times when the fault lies with the property owner. An obviously dilapidated tree that's never been trimmed back or cut down and which appears as though it may likely fall on someone can be construed as neglect by the owner. Another potential source for a falling tree injury comes from trees that are damaged in a severe storm. In the event the homeowner didn't get the trees cut down or broken limbs taken off in a reasonable time frame after the storm, the homeowner may be liable.
Don't Think it Can't Happen to You
Just last week, the driver of a box truck hit a fallen tree on N.C. 16 North and sustained injuries that sent him to the hospital. The truck damage was estimated to be in the vicinity of $12,000. In the blink of an eye, a downed tree that laid across a major highway changed someone's life. It comes down to this: you never know when a tree is going to fall and if you're going to be the one severely affected by it.
The Tree Owner has a Responsibility to Inspect for Damage
Someone who owns property is responsible for its condition at all times. If a tree has a broken limb or is rotting out, it needs to be taken care of. When the owner fails to take responsibility for the condition of the tree and someone gets hurt, the injured party may be able to recover compensation from the liable party. North Carolina law states that the landowner needs to maintain his property and remedy potential hazardous conditions that may exist. This includes tree branches that are in danger of falling. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be able to take legal action for compensation in relation to your injuries.
Greenville, NC Tree Accident Lawyer
I’m Brian Ricci, a tree accident lawyer in Greenville, NC. If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury or property damage caused by falling tree or tree limbs, please call me for free, friendly advice. An experienced Greenville personal injury attorney can properly explain your legal options and advise you on what your next step should be.
Ricci Law Firm, PA is backed by six decades of legal experience and a commitment to the success of our clients. You pay nothing unless we win your case! To request your free consultation, please call our office at (252) 285-4081.