Tree Fall Injury Lawyer

Our Tree Fall Lawyers Help Win Compensation

We do not often think of trees as dangerous, but falling trees and branches are capable of causing serious damage, injuries, and death.  Tragically, this is what happened to a 2-year-old Bucks County boy killed when a large tree branch fell in a storm in April 2023.

Injuries from falling trees can lead to major problems for survivors. Medical, rehabilitative, and household bills mount up at a time when they may be in pain and unable to work, and severe injuries may lead to permanent disability.

If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a tree-fall accident that was due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a lawsuit. A successful premises liability lawsuit can alleviate your financial problems, provide resources for your future needs, and allow you to concentrate on getting well.

However, Pennsylvania laws are complicated, especially when there are issues as to who owned the tree – was it another property owner, a tree in a park, a college campus, or a city street? — and who is at fault. Making mistakes can be costly, as insurance companies will try to deny claims, get you to settle for the lowest amount possible, or make it seem as if the accident was your fault, so it is difficult to fight for compensation on your own. Fortunately, there is legal help available from the skilled and experienced Philadelphia premise liability attorneys at Wapner Newman. Let us take the burden off you by handling all investigations, negotiations, and legal hurdles involved with winning fair compensation, so you can focus on your recovery.

Why Choose Us for a Tree Fall Accident?

Tree fall accidents often fall under the area of premise liability, and since tree owners will often try to deny fault for the accident, having the right attorney on your side can make a major difference. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose Wapner Newman:

  • We have extensive trial experience, and we get results.
  • We have won millions of dollars for our clients, including a $7.25 million settlement for an elevator accident resulting in severe deformation and partial amputation.
  • We have the knowledge, connections, and resources to conduct a full investigation into your case and hire experts to testify on your behalf.
  • We offer free initial consultations to get you started.
  • We treat our clients like family, as you can see by their testimonials.

How Our Tree Fall Accident Attorneys Work for You

Time is of the essence in handling a tree-fall case, as evidence evaporates quickly. When you hire Wapner Newman, we will get to work for you immediately, aggressively fighting for justice and the settlement you deserve. We will:

  • Meet with you to discuss how the accident happened, what parties may be responsible, and determine if a case is warranted and what it may be worth.
  • Investigate your case, gathering evidence such as photos of the accident scene, videos from surveillance cameras, and police, ambulance, and medical reports and documents.
  • Interview witnesses and first responders.
  • Document the ways your injury has affected your life using hospital bills, employment records, and medical evaluation.
  • Handle all legal procedures and court appearances and make sure all paperwork is filed in accordance with Pennsylvania laws and deadlines.
  • Hire experts to reconstruct how the injury occurred, who was at fault, and provide testimony as to how the resulting damages affect your life and will into the future.
  • Deal with communications and negotiations with insurance companies and their lawyers.
  • Build your case and take it to court if necessary.

Tree Fall Injury Attorneys Explain Who Can Be Sued

Pennsylvania law holds an individual or company in possession of the land responsible for certain injuries suffered by people who are on the property. Owners of businesses and private property have a duty to keep their property, including their trees, in a safe and hazard-free condition and to fix any hazards they knew or should have known about so that guests and visitors who are lawfully on the property do not get injured. When they fail to do so and someone is injured as a result, the property owner mays be legally liable in a premises liability claim. Therefore, if the tree that fell was located on someone else’s property, you could potentially sue them for negligence, especially if the tree looked as if it were leaning or about to fall in the days leading up to the accident.

If the property is publicly owned, for example, a state park, you may be able to sue the public entity for a falling tree that injured you.

Damage Awards for Tree Fall Injuries

Due to their weight, falling trees and branches usually land on victims’ heads and shoulders, and cause serious injury. In a tree fall successful case, our tree fall attorneys may recover an award, called damages for both the economic or monetary costs from the injury and the noneconomic damages that do not have a specific dollar value, but negatively impact your life.

Examples include:

  • Medical and rehabilitative expenses
  • Lost wages and earnings, current and into the future
  • Property damage
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress, anguish, or depression
  • Loss of companionship or consortium
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

In some rare cases of extreme and wanton negligence, punitive damages may also be awarded that serve to punish the offending party and prevent these situations from occurring again in the future.

Amounts of Damage Awards

While it is not possible to tell you exactly what your case is worth, damage award amounts for premises liability can range from thousands to millions of dollars. The amount you will receive depends on the individual circumstances of your case, factors that include the severity and permanence of your injuries, and whether you will need continuing care.

Philadelphia Tree Fall Attorney Explains Liability Laws

Whether you can sue someone for a tee fall injury depends on many factors. Under Pennsylvania law, the duty of care that a possessor of land has toward a third party depends on whether the party is a licensee, invitee, or trespasser.

  •  An invitee is on the premises at the express or implied invitation of the owner or manager, such as a tenant or a business visitor. Property owners have the highest liability standard to invitees and must inspect the premises to identify and fix potential hazards, such as a dead branch that is hanging.
  • A licensee is a person who has consent to enter or remain on the land, but for their benefit, such as a salesperson, a utility company employee, or a social visitor. Property owners have a lesser duty to licensees but still can be held liable in some situations, such as if a hanging dead branch that creates an unreasonable risk.
  • A trespasser is anyone who enters the premises illegally. Property owners have virtually no legal responsibility to keep trespassers safe, with an exception for children. Trespassers may recover for injuries only if there was wanton or willful negligence or misconduct by the property owner.

Establishing Negligence

If you were on the property legally and suffered a severe injury from a falling tree, winning a claim will depend on proving the responsible party was negligent and at fault for the accident because they did not maintain basic safety standards on the property.

To prove a landowner is negligent, your attorney would have to show the existence of the following legal elements:

  • Duty. The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to avoid causing you harm.
  • Breach. The at-fault party violated this duty by failing to keep the property safe.
  • Cause. This breach resulted in an accident that injured you.
  • Damages. You suffered damages as a result.

Through our investigations and expert testimony, our tree injury lawyers would seek evidence of negligence, such as property owners who ignored warnings about a hazardous tree situation, that there was an unreasonable risk of harm and that the owner should have known of the condition, and that you were injured and suffered damages as a result.

Comparative negligence laws, found in Pennsylvania General Assembly Statute §7102, state that a plaintiff’s contributory negligence does not bar him or her from seeking compensation for damages, if he or she was less negligent than the defendant.

Amounts of Damage Awards

Damage award amounts for premises liability vary greatly and can range from thousands to millions of dollars. The amount you will receive depends on the individual circumstances of your case. Factors that are considered include the severity and permanence of your injuries, whether a wrongful death was involved, and the availability of insurance and assets of the defendants. The skill and negotiating power of your attorney is also a factor.

Pennsylvania Tree Fall Injury Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions

After a serious tree fall accident, you are bound to have many questions and concerns. While these are best answered at your free consultation, to get started, here are some answers to some frequent questions our attorneys often are asked:

What duty of care do property owners have regarding trees?

Property owners have a duty to inspect trees on their property and to trim or remove them if the trees become rotten and dangerous, as it is foreseeable that a rotten tree could fall and injure or kill someone.

Who is responsible for fallen tree damage if a neighbor’s tree is on our property line?

If all or part of a neighbor’s hazardous tree falls on your property, and your neighbor was aware of or should have known that it was dangerous, that neighbor is responsible for resulting injuries and damage.

How long do you have to file a tree fall injury case in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has a deadline, called a statute of limitations, for filing claims for personal injuries, including premises liability cases. According to the statutes, (title 42, section 5524), you generally have two years to file or the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case.

What if the negligent party is the government?

Pennsylvania local government agencies often are protected from lawsuits for negligence, however, there is an exception (Section 8542(b)(4)) to governmental immunity for the dangerous condition of trees. A local government agency may be held liable if:

  • A dangerous condition of the tree created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury that occurred.
  • The local agency had notice or could reasonably be charged with notice of the dangerous condition in time to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.

What if I am partially at fault for the accident?

Even if you have done something to contribute to the accident, you may still receive compensation. Pennsylvania comparative negligence laws, (Pennsylvania General Assembly Statute §7102), state that as long you are found to be less negligent than the defendant, you can still seek compensation. However, your damage award would be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to you.

When you have Wapner Newman working for you, rest assured that we will be there for you throughout the entire legal process, answering any questions and keeping you informed.

Call a Philadelphia Tree Fall Injury Attorney for Help

The Philadelphia tree fall injury attorneys at Wapner Newman know that tree fall cases can be challenging to prove, but we are fully prepared to do everything possible to help you get the settlement you deserve. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no costs to you unless and until we win your case.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a falling tree or its parts in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, call Wapner Newman for a free consultation to get started with your case while the evidence is fresh, and witnesses can be found.

GET HELP NOW (215) 569-0900