Tree Injury Accidents
Something as seemingly innocent as yardwork, common maintenance that nearly every American does, can quickly turn destructive. Falling branches, exposed roots, or otherwise improperly maintained trees can cause severe injuries and property damage. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are typically more than 100 tree and landscape fatalities every year.
A rotting tree branch may fall on a visitor, pedestrian, or passerby motorists. A tree also has the potential to obstruct a motorist’s line of sight and cause a car crash. Rotted branches can easily be blown off in a storm. Exposed tree roots on eroded soil can cause a person to trip and fall.
Decayed, damaged, or overgrown trees can cause serious injuries to an unsuspecting party.
There is a wide array of harm that can befoul innocent victims due to improper tree
maintenance. Decaying trees often give little indication that they may be dangerous. Rot typically infects the core of the free from the inside out, and the tree can easily become unstable long before there are any visible indications of trouble.
The outcome in many cases is based on whether the defendant should have discovered the tree’s condition and the extent of the defendant’s duty to inspect trees for rot and other signs of interior decay.
Whatever the precise limits of a landowner’s duty, falling tree cases ultimately involve proof of (1) the existence of a dangerous condition, and (2) the landowner’s knowledge of that danger.
Premises Liability Standards
You can hold a defendant accountable for your injuries if you can establish its liability. Under a claim based on negligence, you must show that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, or the failure to correct or warn of a dangerous condition it knew or should have known about through the exercise of
If you were injured on public property, such as a park, you may hold the municipality liable. You would have to demonstrate that the government failed to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition or failed to correct or warn of a danger that it knew or should have reasonably known about.
In some cases, the victim will have the right to compensation from the owner of the property, but this will largely depend on the status of the victim under the law and whether the property owner was negligent. You can hold a property owner accountable for a tree accident injury if you can show that the property owner’s negligence led to the harm you have suffered. A property owner
can be deemed negligent if it failed to keep its property in reasonably safe conditions or failed to warn of dangers on the premises it knew or should have reasonably known about.
If you’ve been injured due to a falling tree branch or other premises liability cases in Missouri or Kansas, the last thing you want to do is put it off. Please contact our office immediately through this website or at 816-866-7711 for a free informational, no-obligation consultation.
Tree Stand Accidents
If you live in the midwest, you know deer season is highly anticipated by many hunters. There are around 500,000 deer hunting licenses sold annually in Missouri and Kansas each. Tree stands, sometimes referred to as “deer stands,” are used by 90% of hunters to avoid detection.
While tree stands provide a higher vantage point for better angled shots, the elevation is also what gives tree stands the potential for extreme danger.
In the majority of tree stand accident cases, hunters fall from stands due to inferior straps holding the stand to the tree breaking, causing serious injuries. The blame in these cases is on big manufacturers such as Ameristep, Big Game, and API Outdoors.
There are many different types of tree stands which apply to these kinds of cases, including:
- Hanging Stands using straps or cables to hand from the tree
- Climbing Stands using devices that allow hunters to ascend the tree
- Ladder Stands fixed to a tree that use a ladder to ascend and descend
There are also stand accessories, including ladders, steps, and straps that can have defects in design or manufacture. Sometimes safety devices sold with the stands can even cause or exacerbate injuries. For example, a properly worn safety harness can lead to a condition known as “suspension trauma,” resulting in serious injury or death.
Poorly designed or defective tree stands can cause serious injury to an unsuspecting hunter. In serious and all-too-common cases, hunters can suffer strangulation, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and even death. A product is typically considered defective if it has one of these deficiencies:
- Design Defect – Design defects apply to the overall design principles. The manufacturer must take into account any and all foreseeable uses. If the product does not have all the necessary qualities to make it safe it is then considered to be defectively designed.
- Manufacturer Defect – Manufacturing defects occur when there is an assembly error in a properly designed product. Unlike the design defect, the manufacturing defect will not apply to all of the product models, just the specific product that caused the injury.
- Warning, Marketing or Label Defects – This type of defect occurs when manufacturers do not inform or warn consumers on how the product should be used. In most cases, this occurs when manufacturers fail to include adequate training or instruction.
An individual injured in a tree stand accident may have cause for legal action against the manufacturer and the seller of the tree stand or accessories. This includes the distributor, retailer, manufacturer and wholesaler. The landowner may also be responsible in certain circumstances.
What to do following a tree stand injury:
- Seek immediate medical treatment.
- Have someone obtain the stand in its condition prior to the accident; do not attempt to remove, clean, fix, or in any way alter the device from the condition in which the accident occurred. Keep all accessories and relevant product information secure. This will all help your attorney with your case.
- Do not speak to any insurance companies or representatives, or post anything about the accident online and on social media without your attorney present.
- Recount the accident to your attorney to the best of your ability and gather all documentation related to your injury including all medical records and bills.
- It is absolutely critical to speak with a Kansas City personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine the cause and responsible parties of your accident. Contact our offices at 816-866-7711 or directly through the Contact Us form for a free consultation.