If you are suing a property owner for injuries caused by a falling tree, one of the things the court will consider is whether the owner knew or should have known that the tree was dangerous. That knowledge (actual or constructive) makes the property owner liable for your damages. Here are four things you can use to show that the owner knew their tree was dangerous:
The Tree Looked Diseased
Some diseases make a tree weak, and a weak tree can easily fall. Here are some of the common symptoms of sick trees:
- Dying limbs
- Insects boring into trunks
- Mushrooms growing on the trees
- Falling leaves at the wrong time of the year
Therefore, if the tree exhibited these symptoms, then its owner should have known that it could fall.
The Tree Variety Is Known To Have a Falling Tendency
Some tree varieties have a tendency to fall under certain conditions. For example, pine trees have a reputation of falling under wet winter storms. One reason for this is that pine trees are usually the tallest trees in a group of trees (pines grow very fast). In addition to that, pine trees also have big canopies during the winter season since they are evergreen. This combination of height and bushy tops make them susceptible to wind forces, especially if the ground is saturated with water. Therefore, therefore, the owner of a tall pine tree standing in saturated soils should know its dangers.
The Tree Was Improperly Maintained
Some maintenance practices make a tree likely to fall. For example, cutting the lower branches of a tree (for example to improve the view) or trimming its inner branches increases its risk of falling. Another example is cutting the roots of a tree, for example during construction, which weakens its anchoring in the soil. A property owner who does any of those things should know that they risk having the tree fall.
An Arborist Proclaimed the Tree as Dangerous
Lastly, you may also have a strong claim if you can prove that an arborist had warned the property owner about its danger. Maybe the arborist had advised the owner to cut a tree or trim its branches to reduce its risk of falling, and the owner had tried to save the tree instead.
As is usual with any injury case, it is not what you know but what you can prove that will help you win a case. A personal injury lawyer can help you prove any of the above points so that you can win the settlement you deserve. For more information, contact companies like Eric J. Moore Company, Attorneys At Law.