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'Freak Accidents' Can Be Tragic, But Are They Really Blameless?

fallen tree.jpgWe often receive visits or calls from people who have had a horrible accident happen to them or a family member, but they are unsure whether someone can - and should be - held liable for the resulting injury or death. These situations are often described as "freak accidents," but it is important to understand that rarely are there faultless accidents in the legal world.

An example occurred several months ago in Cincinnati, when a woman was killed by a falling tree. She was in her car on Reading Road in Bond Hill, when the Pin Oak tree fell on top of her vehicle. The city of Cincinnati had marked the tree for removal prior to its fall, but it was not classified as needing immediate/emergency removal.

WLWT5 interviewed Charlie Rittgers about the accident. He explained how the city - and perhaps the homeowner of the property with the Pin Oak - may be legally liable for the woman's wrongful death through an insurance claim or lawsuit. Charlie also did an excellent job explaining actual knowledge and constructive knowledge.

To view the video and corresponding article - including the Charlie Rittgers interview - visit this direct link to WLWT.com.

A common situation where people do not know they have the right to legal recourse is after motor vehicle accidents in construction zones. If there was a dangerous condition in the roadway and it was not clearly marked to warn the motorist, he or she may have the opportunity to recover damages through a lawsuit.

If you have a unique situation that has left you are unsure about your legal rights, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. If the answers you receive are unconvincing, it never hurts to get a second opinion.

Rittgers & Rittgers offers free initial consultations for accidents involving serious injuries or death.

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