Falling trees can lead to severe injuries or fatality

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Injuries, Personal Injury

Trees line the streets of West Chester, providing a picturesque setting, cool shade and environmental benefits. Yet, they pose a hidden danger. These towering natural beauties can come crashing down, snap in half or drop limbs without warning. Falling tree accidents are more common than you realize, often causing severe injuries and fatalities.

Being aware of these dangers and how to stay safe is crucial as you enjoy public spaces.

The unexpected dangers of trees

Imagine that it’s a warm, sunny day, so you decide to seek shelter under a leafy tree to cool off. Then, unexpectedly, a branch comes down and almost hits you. Surprisingly, these incidents happen very often, and there are many instances where a falling tree strikes a person.

For instance, a falling tree tragically took the life of a 2-year-old boy after strong winds blew past their backyard in 2023. In another accident, a tree fell onto a truck during heavy rain, killing the driver due to a traumatic head injury.

Many factors can contribute to falling trees. Extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or strong winds can weaken or uproot them. Improper planting or maintenance can increase the risk of snapping or uprooting. All of this emphasizes the importance of public vigilance as well as routine tree care by municipal governments.

Staying safe: Tips to avoid tree hazards

Here are some ways to protect yourself from the dangers of falling trees:

  • Stay away from trees during heavy rain, winter or other extreme weather conditions
  • Avoid parking your vehicle or resting under trees that show signs of rot and uprooting, such as cracked sidewalks, hollow spots in the trunk, dead branches around the base and wilting leaves
  • Move away from the tree as soon as you hear snapping or cracking sounds

If you spot potentially dangerous trees, consider reporting them to local authorities or park management so they can take the proper measures.

Can you take legal action if a falling tree hurts you?

If you are a victim of a falling tree, you may be entitled to compensation. Property owners, including government entities, are responsible for keeping their premises safe to avoid preventable injuries. They must inspect and address known dangers, such as rotten or uprooted trees. If they fail to act or should have been reasonably aware but neglected to address them, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries.

Trees are a stunning natural asset, but they require regular upkeep. By staying aware and careful, you can enjoy what they offer safely. And if the worst does happen, legal help is available.

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