We’ve all heard of tragic situations where people are injured by trees that fall on top of them. But tree branches can do just as much damage, depending on their weight and size. To prevent such accidents, property owners must take all reasonable actions to ensure the stability of their trees. Routine inspections and maintenance are two of the easiest way to achieve this goal. Pruning tree branches, for example, or removing branches that are too long or heavy can prevent the vast majority of tree branch collapse injuries.
When owners are negligent in these duties, tree branches can fly off during storms and windy weather and hit an innocent victim. Tree branches can also collapse and hit people’s cars, which can result in devastating crushing injuries. If the branch is particularly large and heavy, victims can suffer lifelong injuries such as brain damage, paralysis, and death.
What to do if You’ve been Hurt by a Falling Tree Branch
Seeing a doctor should be your first step if you’ve been hurt by a falling tree branch. You might think about skipping this step if your injuries don’t seem that serious, but this can be a big mistake. Many injuries start out superficial, but quickly get worse without medical intervention. You should also get help if you’re experiencing emotional trauma, which is very common with falling tree branch accident victims. Without help from a licensed counselor, you may end up struggling with PTSD, depression, and other mental health disorders.
In addition to medical treatment, you must seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. If the accident was the result of the property owner’s negligence, you have the right to sue them for monetary compensation. But the lawsuit process varies depending on who is the registered owner of the property, which could be a homeowner, a private company, or a government agency (for public lands like parks and highways).
This is just one of the issues that you will need to resolve in order to succeed in a tree branch collapse injury case. The lawyers of DTLA are here to assist you, whether you’d like to initiate a claim or continue an existing claim or lawsuit. For more information on your rights and legal options, contact our office and schedule a free consultation.
Average Value of a Tree Branch Collapse Injury Lawsuit
Based on the average of settlements throughout the country, the average value of a collapsing tree branch lawsuit is about $350,000. However, it all depends on the degree of your injuries and what you lose as a result of your accident. For example, cases of minor or moderate injuries are typically settled for less than $75,000. However, if the injuries have long-term, debilitating effects on the person’s life, a tree branch case can be worth $1 million to several million dollars.
The extent of your injuries is not the only reason these cases are so valuable. To get a true sense of what a victim deserves, you have to think about all their financial and emotional losses. Then, you have to put a value on each of these damages, which is easy enough for things like medical bills and lost wages. Emotional trauma, on the other hand, is not so easy to valuate, as it’s based on the victim’s mental injuries. Furthermore, we have to think about future losses, like the cost of medical treatments someone may need for the rest of their life.
With all this in mind, here are the damages we may request when drafting a demand letter for a tree branch fall accident lawsuit:
- Medical costs
- Future medical care
- Cost of therapy
- Assisted care expenses
- Lost wages / lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Legal fees
Any one of these damages can result in a significant sum of money. Lost earning capacity, for example, entitles you to future wages that you will lose due to your inability to work. Depending on your age and salary, this alone could be over $1 million of your settlement award. As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to asking for a fair amount of damages. It’s in your best interest to speak with an experienced premises liability lawyer, so please give us a call at your earliest convenience.
Wrongful Death Compensation in a Tree Branch Accident Case
Sadly, tree branch collapse accidents can also result in fatality, especially if there are injuries to the head and spinal cord. Have you lost a loved one or family member to an accident involving a fallen tree branch? Our lawyers can help you file a wrongful death claim and recover the following damages:
- Medical bills left behind by the decedent
- Funeral expenses
- Cost of mental health counseling
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the decedent’s financial contributions
- Loss of benefits / inheritance
- Loss of consortium
- Attorney’s fees
Though money cannot replace that special someone in your life, it will help you recover financially and emotionally from their unexpected death. To learn more about the damages you are entitled to, contact our law firm and speak to a wrongful death lawsuit attorney.
Tree Branch Collapse Accident Injuries
While each collapsing tree branch accident is different, it’s clear that the extent of your injuries is the biggest element in what a case is worth. The high value of these claims is not surprising when you look at the types of injuries that can happen from being struck with a falling tree branch:
- Skull fracture
- Traumatic brain injury
- Rib fracture
- Dislocated / fractured shoulder
- Neck injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Facial injuries / disfigurement
- Eye damage
- Knee injury
- Hand / wrist fracture
- Punctured organs
Tree Branch Injury Lawsuit Settlements and Verdicts
There’s no denying that tree branch accidents cause life-altering harm to the injury victim, as well as their loved ones. These cases often bring in settlements in the 6-7 figure range, though your own case may be different. To give you an idea of what can be recovered, here are some examples of previous tree branch injury lawsuit settlement and verdicts:
- $100,000 for a Chicago woman who fractured her wrist when a tree branch fell on top of her as she was exiting her car. Aside from her physical injury, she suffered from PTSD due to the emotional trauma from her accident. The injury occurred on a property she was renting, so she filed for compensation with her landlord’s insurance company. Both sides agreed to a settlement of $100,000.
- $6 million for a New Jersey man, who was struck by a branch while he was driving along Route 29. He filed a claim with NJDOT for his injuries, which were severe and permanent. After NJDOT made no offers of a settlement, the case was resolved through a jury verdict after a two week trial.
- $2.2 million for a Pennsylvania plaintiff who was injured from a dead tree falling on top of his car. He sustained permanent brain damage and had to have two fingers amputated. Additionally, he was in a coma for two months after the accident due to the nature of his injuries. The case went to trial and ended with the jury ruling in favor of the plaintiff.
- $14.5 million for a San Francisco woman who was at a playground with her kids when she was hit by a 100-pound tree branch. She sustained a skull fracture and a severed spinal cord, which left her paralyzed from the waist down. A lawsuit was filed against the city and county, which was settled out of court.
These cases illustrate the possibility of what you can receive as a victim of a tree branch collapse injury. However, your own case value may be less or more than the examples we’ve cited here. For information on the approximate value of your own case, contact our law firm and speak to a tree branch accident lawsuit attorney.
How long does it take to Settle a Tree Branch Injury Claim?
On average, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to resolve a tree branch injury case. As with case values, the severity of your injuries has a lot to do with your case timeline. Generally, the more serious the injuries, the longer it will take to settle your lawsuit. For minor injuries, it’s possible to settle a case in just 30 days, though many claims do require months of negotiating with the insurance company.
The cases that take the longest to settle are the ones that progress to a lawsuit. That means you are unable to negotiate with the insurer, or the insurance limits are inadequate for the level of harm you’ve suffered. At this point, it can take 2 or more years to recover your damages, depending on whether your case goes to trial. It’s important to remember that these are general timelines that may or may not apply to your situation. To get a sense of how long it may take to settle your injury claim, give us a call at your earliest convenience.
Schedule a Free Second Opinion
Do you have an active injury claim or lawsuit, but you believe that your case is worth more than what you’ve been told by your lawyer? You may also feel like your lawyer is taking too long to settle your case, but don’t know where to turn.
Our attorneys can help you with a second opinion, which is a completely free consultation for injury victims with pending legal actions. We can address all your questions and concerns and advise you on the steps we would take to recover your settlement. Based on the details of your accident, we may be able to settle your case in 30 days. If switching your lawyer is the right choice for you, we will contact your current firm and take care of the transfer process from start to finish.
Our lawyers are waiting to assist you, so give us a call and schedule a free second opinion.
Contact DTLA Law Group
Based on the serious nature of a tree branch collapse injury, it’s essential to find representation from an experienced attorney. However, we know that legal fees are a big concern for accident victims, which is why we’re happy to offer a Zero fee guarantee. With this agreement, you pay nothing to hire one of our attorneys, since our law firm works on contingency. We only recover our costs by winning your case, so if we lose, you won’t be responsible for any of our legal fees.
The lawyers of DTLA look forward to fighting for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office and schedule a free case review or free second opinion.