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Storm Dangers and Brain Injury

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This time of year we begin to see the impact of summer storms and hurricanes. These storms bring with them the risk of winds, flooding and other challenges. They often cause tragic loss of life in unexpected and often preventable ways. In the recent past, there have been severe and life-changing injuries sustained by those who have been struck by trees during storms. One of the most well-known and tragic is that of Georgia’s beloved Tripp Halstead who suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of two after he was struck by a tree limb while playing at his daycare center. Tripp’s family, friends and the entire community across the globe, prayed for his recover. He became such an inspiration during his fight, that in his passing the Washington Post, Newsweek, People and other major publications wrote about him.

This little boy fought so hard for life. He had many surgeries and truly was an inspiration to so many people around the world. Our hearts are with the family and friends of this little boy who taught us so much. He lost that battle last month. His young life serves as a reminder of the fragility of life and the gift of love and strength.

Because the dangers of falling tree limbs this time of year are so prevalent, it is important to remember the things that property owners should do to ensure the trees around their properties are safe. Checking trees for disease, over-crossed branches and proper pruning so that the wind can pass through the tree are all maintenance issues that should be addressed. It is very important that property owners remove dead or damaged tree limbs. The Tree Care Industry Association advocates using a trained arborist to identify these and remove dangerous tree limbs as the best approach. Homeowners might miss issues or make matters worse.

A diseased tree is more likely to lose limbs. A trained person can identify the disease and advise as to whether the tree should be removed or treated. In addition, a trained person can take note of those branches that might not be seen by an untrained eye that are in fact precarious and are more likely to fall. Perhaps a branch is too close to a structure or a camp cabin where kids are sleeping. One such tragedy occurred several years ago at a summer camp. A young girl lost her life while she slept when winds brought a tree limb down on the roof of her cabin.

Under longstanding premises liability laws found at Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 51-3-1, property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of their property. Property owners who fail to take steps to ensure this, with a resulting injury to a guest or passer by, can be liable under the law for an injured person’s medical care, loss of time from work and other damages.
Scholle Law helps those injured by a negligent property owners’ failure to take steps to protect guests or passers by from injury. Whether you have been harmed by a slip and fall in a store, or a poorly maintained parking lot or other issue, we can help guide you through the process and get you help for your injuries and lost wages for time away from work. In more serious cases, we support families who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence or failure of a property owner to properly maintain property.