Falling branches and collapsing tree trunks can cause not just property damage, but also physical injuries. A Houston personal injury lawyer would probably tell you that an unexpected emergency department visit, medical bills and lost time at work are just some of the many things that a person could face when injured in a tree fall accident. In some tragic cases, it may even result in wrongful death. When you have been harmed by a falling tree, it could be important to know who’s at fault to see how you might be able to seek compensation.
Is tree fall accident an act of God?
Typically, a tree fall accident is considered an act of God if it was a result of natural calamities. When a healthy-looking tree collapsed due to tornadoes, lightning, storms, floods, and other natural catastrophe, it could be defined as an act of God. Depending on the jurisdiction, the ‘act of God’, or vis major argument can be used as a defense to prove that the owner of the property where the tree is located is not accountable for any damages that resulted from the accident. The defendant will only have to prove that no human influence, assistance or foresight could have prevented the tree fall accident.
When is the property owner accountable?
However, the ‘act of God’ argument cannot be employed in situations wherein the property owner has been negligent in exercising his duty of care. For instance, an owner could be held liable if he knew or was informed that the tree in his property is unhealthy and might pose hazard during inclement weather.
Tree fall accident safety
If you have trees in your property, trimming down unhealthy branches and those that are protruding to the street or a neighbor’s property is one sure way to avert tree fall accidents. However, remember to seek professional help when trimming branches or cutting down a tree to avoid getting into trouble of harming anyone, including yourself.