We never think of trees as objects which can hurt us. To the eye, trees are locked firmly into the ground by their trunks, just as buildings are anchored into the ground by steel and cement. Unfortunately, appearances can be deceiving. While relatively uncommon, tree falls do cause serious and costly injuries across America and throughout the state of Pennsylvania on an annual basis. In many instances, improper tree maintenance is a contributing factor.
If you or a loved one has been injured by tree fall in Pennsylvania, a Bucks County tree fall injury lawyer from the law offices of The Reiff Law Firm can evaluate your case and help you file a personal injury claim. At The Reiff Law Firm, our skilled and aggressive attorneys have over three decades of experience practicing personal injury litigation. In many cases, we are able to obtain favorable awards and have won millions of dollars in damages. Since 1979, we have recovered over $200 million for our clients.
Tree Fall Injury Statistics
Today in America, there are over 700 million acres of forest, and nearly 250 billion trees exceeding one inch in diameter. Beyond these forest regions, there are more trees yet in densely populated urban areas and small towns. When you consider the fact that there are about 250 billion trees throughout the nation, and a population of nearly 314 million people, that means there are nearly 800 trees to every person in the United States. When you think of it in that context, it becomes less unbelievable to imagine that tree fall injury does periodically occur.
It goes without saying that certain segments of the population are more vulnerable to tree fall injuries than others. People who frequently work around trees, such as loggers, are at an elevated risk simply because they spend a greater proportion of time in this environment. According to the Tree Care Industry Association:
- The accident rate for arborists is 10 times higher than the average work accident rate.
- The accident rate for loggers is is 30 times higher than the average work accident rate.
Trees can injure people due to total collapse, or falling branches. In some cases outside of the tree care industry, tree injuries result not from direct bodily contact, but from weather conditions which cause trees to collapse or partially collapse onto occupied homes. But while rare, direct impact from falling tree debris can and does occur. As recently as February 2014, a resident of Narberth, Pennsylvania in nearby Montgomery County was struck by a falling branch. The man incurred a serious head injury from the incident, and was listed as being in critical condition following his hospitalization.
Sometimes, falling tree branch accidents in Pennsylvania can even result in death. In 2009, 23-year-old Mary Ladany was killed while jogging in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park when a 30-foot long branch struck her from 50 feet above. Ladany was killed instantly. Similar accidents have victimized joggers across the country, including New York and Texas.
Tree Fall Injury Liability
Sometimes, collapsing trees and tree branches are simply the result of natural forces. However, there are many cases in which improper tree maintenance allows trees to become unwieldy and overgrown, at which point they can pose a serious threat to innocent passerby. Oftentimes, had preventative care measures been taken, the tree in question would have remained healthy and physically stable. If a property owner is aware of potentially dangerous trees on his or her land, yet takes no action to rectify the situation, they may face premises liability for negligent maintenance. Factors which can weaken trees if not properly addressed by property owners include:
- Improper Pruning
- Insect Infestation
- Lack of Pruning
- Poor Soil Conditions
Because trees and tree branches fall so rapidly and so unexpectedly, when they do fall, they are virtually impossible to avoid. Due to their speed, weight, and almost completely vertical path, they often cause considerable physical damage upon impact, typically falling upon the vulnerable head and/or shoulders. Some common injuries caused by tree fall include:
- Bone Fractures
- Broken Bones
- Crush Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a falling tree or tree branch in Bucks County, you may have a strong premises liability case. To speak with a qualified Bucks County tree fall injury attorney from the personal injury law firm of The Reiff Law Firm, call our law offices today at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online. Your case evaluation is guaranteed to be confidential and comes at no charge to you.