This week, we have been discussing a tragic accident in Newport Beach in which a young woman lost her life when a 10-ton blue gum eucalyptus tree fell on her car while she was stopped at a light on Irvine Avenue. The California premises liability lawsuit that followed argued that the city should have recognized that the tree—and many others in the area—were a danger to the public and not properly maintained.
Falling tree accidents sometimes are simply unfortunate and unpredictable accidents. However, many of these accidents happen because of negligent property owners who ignore signs of dangerous trees. How do you recognize the signs of a dangerous tree?
• Leaning. Especially if the tree is leaning over a building, street, sidewalk, or other occupied space.
• Trouble species. Some trees, such as willows and silver maples, are much more prone to safety issues than other types of trees.
• Off balance.
• Signs of decay. Many of these signs can be detected by tree specialists.
• Insect infestation, such as termites.
• Not rooted properly in the ground. This could be caused by several factors, including erosion or root decay.
• Low forked trunk. Unbalanced trees are dangerous and can break or fall easily.
• Dead branches. A branch fall can be just as dangerous and deadly as a tree fall.
• Dying. While dead and dying trees should be left alone in the wilderness, these trees are a great danger in public places.
• History of falling branches, decay, and other issues.
If a land owner is responsible, these issues should be caught by tree maintenance specialists so that dangerous trees are promptly pruned or removed. Trees which are not maintained could lead to accidents, injuries, and deaths.
If you have been injured in a fall or by a falling object and you believe your injury could have been prevented by the owner of the property or by another party, speak to an OC injury attorney today. Call Russell & Lazarus at (949) 851-0222 for a free case evaluation.