Trees can cause wrongful death if not properly maintained. Learn how a tree expert witness can help determine wrongful death.
Did you know that depending on where you live, trees should be pruned at least once a year with regularity? Unfortunately, trees that have been neglected can be a hazard for anyone in their vicinity. For victims of wrongful death due to neglected trees, you may wish to consult with an attorney.
Additionally, you’ll need a seasoned arborist with expertise to assist your attorney with the facts and science as to why the tree failed. Read on to learn how a tree expert witness can help determine whether or not a wrongful death occurred.
Offer Credible Explanations
An expert witness can explain complex concepts related to a tree’s structure and maintenance needs in court. They understand a tree’s composition, as well as how diseases and climate conditions will affect it. An expert arborist can also describe concerns related to a tree’s structure or pruning needs.
This expertise is valuable when you’re trying to craft a compelling argument in a wrongful death case. If someone has been fatally injured due to a tree that required maintenance, it will need to be shown to a jury why the tree failed. An arborist’s credentials, previous litigation history, and experience will lend credibility to your case.
Provide a Sound Opinion Regarding Negligence
If negligence existed, a tree expert witness can help demonstrate these facts. For instance, a tree may have shown signs of neglect in the form of dead branches or missing bark. The owner of the property on which the tree stands may have failed to seek annual inspections and provide necessary maintenance to the subject tree.
A trained expert witness can discuss how a fallen tree branch may have resulted from disease and decay. With a skilled arborist’s knowledge, an attorney or insurance company filing a wrongful death lawsuit can substantiate their case.
Perhaps an owner neglected to address a rotted tree. Or perhaps they failed to remove brittle branches. In any case, an arborist can help identify negligence regarding tree maintenance and tree risk protocol.
Ultimately, enlisting an arborist as an expert witness only strengthens a case. They can speak to tree risk assessments and identify structural issues that may have gone unnoticed or unaddressed. All of this will paint a more accurate picture for the trier of fact that may not know much about tree health.
Refute the Other Side
In a wrongful death case, the other side will try to say that they were not at fault. They may try to argue that the victim acted irresponsibly. Or they may claim that the death was purely accidental or an act of God.
An expert witness can explain why that is not the case if warranted. For example, they can verify if a tree’s health was compromised before an incident involving it. Looking at high-quality pictures, they also will be able to point to branches and other physical characteristics that could cause damage.
Find the Right Tree Expert Witness
A tree expert witness can strengthen your case when you’re tackling a wrongful death situation. They have the credentials and expertise to explain how a tree would behave in the given circumstances. And they can show how tree negligence may have contributed to a death.
When you need a credentialed arborist in support of your case, reach out for assistance!