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South Carolina Wrongful Death – Homeowners Check Your Yards For Decaying Trees

South Carolina Wrongful Death – Homeowners Check Your Yards For Decaying Trees

Charleston accident lawyers urge you to check your yard for decaying trees. In many cities if a public sidewalk runs through your yard you are responsible for the land on each side of the sidewalk. If there are trees growing between the road and the side walk that runs through your property, these trees are still considered to be on your property. Decaying trees and debris from decaying trees is the homeowner’s responsibility.

Two year old Mateo Ortiz of San Jose, California, recently fell victim of a decayed silver maple tree. The tree fell onto the family’s pickup truck after his father parked it in front of the family’s home. Mateo was killed instantly and it took rescue workers two hours to get Mateo’s father out of the car, who suffered broken arms and other fractures.

Due to the economy many cities have been forced to re-budget and one of the common things to be taken out of the budget first has been tree, sidewalk, gutter, and lawn maintenance on the property that lies between the curb and a homeowners land. This land is usually monitored every five years my city inspectors and arborists but recently San Jose, like many other cities suffering from the economy, have turned this responsibility over to the homeowners. This is unfortunate for Mateo’s family because they are already devastated from his tragic death, and now the city is saying that his death was their fault because they are responsible for the rotten tree that was on their property.

Charleston personal injury attorneys suggest you look up your city’s tree ordinance to see if you are responsible for tree and lawn maintenance. In many states the tree ordinance and lawn maintenance regulations vary from city to city, so if you have recently relocated do not assume that your new city follows the same city ordinance your old one did. Two of the most common signs that a tree is rotting that homeowners should keep in mind are the lack of leaf production when in blossom, and if the bark is brittle and falling off the tree.

Source: The Mercury News- “San Jose family grieves for toddler, but law says falling tree was homeowners’ responsibility.” January 15, 2010.

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