A Tree Branch Fell on My Car, Can I Get The Tree Owner to Pay?

A Tree Branch Fell on My Car, Can I Get The Tree Owner to Pay?

Question: I went to a party at a friend’s house and parked my car in the driveway. A tree branch fell on top of my car and badly damaged it. I had not collision so I was stuck with the bill. Is my friend responsible for the damage? I have an estimate from the repair shop for over $3,000. The tree branch fell from a tree on his property, so can I get him to pay the damage? Answer: As is often the case, the answer depends. It depends on whether the tree branch that fell was healthy and if your friend knew it was a threat to fall. First, make sure that the tree belonged to your friend and not

Tree on the Property Line

Question: There is a tree on the property line between my neighbor and my yards. We are not certain of the property line, but they believe it is fully on my property. It is a 4′ wide tree and maybe it is a few inches in to their property line. They feel it is cracked and might come down. They say it is my responsibility. He bought his house 2 years ago and the tree branch leaned over to their property pretty much in the same condition. My neighbor won’t split the cost of taking down the tree or the limb with me. I think he has to be responsible for it since the branch hangs over his property and always

Question about a Neighbor Asking to Trim Branches from Woman’s Tree

Question: I have a question about ownership and responsibility of a tree that is on my boyfriend’s property. Who has to trim branches on a tree? We have asked so many individuals (lawyers, tree companies, neighbors) and we can’t seem to find any information regarding responsibility of tree trimming or removal when it’s on someone else’s property. The tree is on our property and isn’t in any danger of falling onto anyone’s home. However, the neighbor is complaining about the tree branches and she wants them trimmed. It is to my understanding that if she wants them trimmed, she can do it herself. She is threatening to sue us if we don’t trim the tree. She ignores our calls and only wants to move or act

A Tree on Your Property Falls and Injures Someone: Are You Responsible?

A tree falls on your property: is that an act of Nature or negligence? Most of us would say that unless I cut a tree down with an ax or a chainsaw, a falling tree is a classic act of Nature, but that may not always be the case. So what do you do about a tree on your property? As I write this, we had another Nor’easter that wreaked havoc on the New York metropolitan area. The storm snarled traffic, left thousands without power and flooded many communities. Even worse, several people lost their lives due to falling branches and that leads me to the topic for this article. As a homeowner, I take reasonable steps to keep my

The Boundary Tree: Why So Much Trouble?

A boundary tree is a tree that straddles the line between two properties.  Generally, for a tree to be considered a “boundary” tree, the trunk of the tree must encroach on both properties.  A tree whose trunk is completely on one owner’s property but whose branches overhang the adjacent owner’s property or whose roots invade onto the adjacent owner’s property is not a boundary tree. A tree does not have to start out as a boundary tree to become one:  a tree that is planted on one owner’s sole property can, over time, evolve into a boundary tree if the girth of the trunk during the natural growth of the tree causes the trunk to invade the adjacent property. Boundary

What If Your Neighbor’s Tree Threatens Your Property?

Question: There is a tree that stands along the property line, but it clearly belongs to my neighbor. A storm damaged the tree and while part of the tree thrived, much of it was clearly dead and decaying. The tree threatens my property. I am afraid that the tree will fall on my house or worse, fall on someone and kill them.  I spoke to my neighbor about the tree and he rejected my request that he remove the tree. What can I do? First, you need to determine that your neighbor owns the tree. You say the tree is on the property line. If the entire trunk is on your neighbor’s property, then your neighbor owns the tree. If

My Tree Roots are Damaging the Foundation of My Neighbor’s House

Question: My neighbor says roots from one of my trees are damaging the foundation of his house and he has threatened to sue me. Can he sue? What is my liability? The short answer is that your neighbor can sue you, the question is whether your neighbor has grounds to use and would he prevail. If your neighbor sues you for “nuisance” or for “negligence” and seeks damages, the Court will determine what your reasonable action should have been and decide accordingly. You could be held liable for the cost of repairs or replacement. I should caution you that repairing a damaged foundation can run into the many thousands of dollars. tree roots damaging a foundation is  serious issue and you

A Neighbor’s Tree Fell in My Backyard

Question: My neighbor’s tree fell in my backyard. I want him to remove it or pay for its removal. He said no. What can I do? A friend sums this situation up well: if a tree falls on your property, you own it. We had this happen at our home. A large tree fell in my backyard and the tree belonged to my neighbor. It was an otherwise healthy tree. Our neighbor bore no legal obligation to remove the tree or to pay for the removal. He put a claim in with his insurance company and they refused to pay because he had no legal obligation to pay. The law generally looks on a falling tree as an act of

A Root Problem: When Tree Roots Threaten a Neighbor’s Property

Question: My neighbor has a large tree and the tree roots are coming through my patio and breaking the cement. Can I get him to pay for the damage caused by the roots? What else can I do?  I am sorry to hear about the problem you are having with your patio. Let me address the issue of damages first and then we will talk about other actions you can take. In general, a tree owner can only be held responsible for damage if he had prior notice that a tree posed a threat or created a hazard. In this case, the ability to collect damages would depend on the notice your neighbor had about the problem with the tree

What Constitutes Notice of a Tree Hazard?

If a tree falls, who is responsible for the damage? The answer may depend upon what notice the tree owner had. In general, the law sees a tree as an object of nature and no person or property owner has legal responsibility for a tree. This situation changes if a property owner is made aware that a tree on his property poses a hazard and is a threat to property or to people. If a person has notice about a tree hazard and fails to remedy the problem, the law can view that as negligence and the person can be held liable for damage or injury caused by that tree. Actual and Constructive Notice of a Tree Hazard Therefore, the

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