A 50-year-old bicyclist who was delivering food for a Brooklyn restaurant has been hospitalized with critical injuries after he was hit on the head by a falling tree branch. According to an NBC4 news report, the branch fell as a city Parks Department contractor was pruning a tree as part of the agency’s ongoing work after Hurricane Sandy. The accident occurred near Coffey Park. Officials say an outside contractor was pruning the tree when the branch fell hitting the bicyclist.
City officials are calling this an “unfortunate accident” and have said they will conduct a thorough investigation. Parks Department safety protocols require maintaining a secure work zone with cones, caution tape and a worker on the ground to warn approaching pedestrians. It is not clear at this time if all these safety protocols were in place when the accident occurred. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured bicyclist and we wish him the very best for a complete recovery.
Recent Tree-Related Accidents
In September, a tree snapped and crashed down busy Bryant Park, leaving five people injured. In that instance, the tree came down inside the park near its southwest corner at 40th Street and Sixth Avenue. The tree fell and pinned several people underneath. In June of this year, two children were injured at Bronx River Park when a large tree branch fell on them. The branch struck them as the boys, 9 and 8, were playing with water balloons near a park playground at East 180th Street and Boston Road in West Farms. Back in June 2010, a baby girl was killed and her mother critically injured when a tree branch fell and struck them just outside of the Central Park Zoo. As illustrated by these incidents, falling trees or even tree branches have the potential to result in significant injuries for the victims.
The Danger of Tree-Related Accidents
When a maintenance worker is pruning a tree, sufficient precautions should be taken in order to ensure that it is done in a manner that is safe not only for the tree trimmer, but also for pedestrians and passersby. New York City’s safety protocols require tree trimmers to mark the area to warn pedestrians of the danger of falling tree branches. The trimmers are also required to have a lookout person who can warn pedestrians when such tree maintenance work is being done. Any time this type of an injury accident occurs, a number of questions must be asked. Was the worker properly trained for the job? Was he trained in safety procedures? Was he supervised? Did he have the necessary equipment to do the job safely?
Injuries and Compensation
Falling tree branches can cause significant injuries to passersby including, but not limited to, severe head injuries such as concussions and brain trauma; spinal cord damage, multiple broken bones, facial injuries, internal organ damage, etc. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment. Some tree-related injuries may even be fatal. Many of these tend to be catastrophic injuries or those that result in permanent injuries or disabilities. Victims may be unable to return to work for an extended period or time. In some cases, their injuries may permanently end their ability to earn a livelihood.
A premises liability claim may be filed against the property owner and/or property manager seeking damages in an injury incident involving a tree that is located on public property. If your injury is the result of an incident involving maintenance work being performed on a tree that is on public property, then you may be able to file a claim against the city or governmental agency that is responsible for the upkeep of that tree.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages that include medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. The family of of deceased victim can seek compensation for damages by filing a wrongful death claim as well.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. For over 45 years, our skilled accident attorneys have a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
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Source: NBC New York
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