Miami Beach and other Florida communities are known for their natural beauty and their green spaces. Many homeowners across the state enjoy year-round gardening and have large yards. Many suburban communities in the region are also built along include tree-lined streets, so many residents have at least one tree on their property. If this is the case with your home, did you know that your tree might put you at risk of injuries and legal action? The most common issues that homeowners have with trees include:
1) Child injuries.
If a child enters another property and climbs onto a tree or into a tree house or on a tree swing, they can easily be injured. Under Florida law, property owners have a special duty of care to children, especially if they have something on their property – such as a tree swing or tree house – that may attract a child. In these cases, property owners are expected to take extra precautions to ensure that children who wander onto the property are not injured.
2) Trip and fall accidents.
Tree roots will sometimes come up under walkways, pathways, and sidewalks, causing these surfaces to become uneven. Eventually, this can lead to trip and fall accidents in Miami Beach and Florida. If you have a tree on your property, you of course have no control over how its roots may grow, but if you notice the tree causing damage you are expected to fix the issue or take some steps to provide safe passage to visitors. You are also expected to trim any overhanging branches that may pose a risk and remove any debris from the tree that could pose a hazard.
3) Falling trees.
Trees may get diseases or get dried out and may die. When this happens, they can easily tip over onto a neighboring property, where they can cause injury and catastrophic damage. If you notice a tree on your property is drying up or showing signs of disease, have a professional evaluate it. If you notice a neighbor’s tree is showing signs of disease and are worried about it falling over onto your property, speak to your neighbor about it.
In some cases, trees are removed for cosmetic reasons or because a tree is a danger. If a tree needs to be cut or removed, it is important to have the job done by insured and experienced professionals. If you cut down a tree on your own property without taking due precaution and it injures someone or causes damages, you may be held liable. In the same way, if a neighbor has been reckless when trimming or cutting trees on their property and this has caused damages, consult with a personal injury attorney for legal advice. You may have a claim.
4) Car accidents.
If a tree blocks visibility for drivers leaving or entering their driveway, it could cause an accident. This can especially be a possibility if a tree is on the edge of a driveway.
Of course, having a shade-giving tree on a hot Florida summer day provides plenty of enjoyment, but make sure that any tree on your property is safe for you and your visitors. A few simple precautions can prevent injury or a premises liability claim in Miami Beach or your community.
If you have been injured or have suffered serious property damage due to a neighbor’s tree, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case evaluation. We can help you understand your rights in a free case evaluation.