A tree on my property falls by natural causes on a nieghber’s vehicle parked in their driveway. Am I responsible for damages?

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Pennsylvania attorney, and the law on this subject can vary somewhat from one state to another.  More importantly, there are some more facts that would have to be looked at, so for advice you can rely on, you need to discuss this in detail with a lawyer in your area.  One place to find counsel is our website, http://attorneypages.com

One thing I would strongly recommend is that you make a written report of this to your homeowners' insurance company, as soon as possible, to make sure that if you have coverage, you don't lose it by not giving them a chance to investigate it promptly.

Some causes are more "natural" than others, in this context.  There's nothing you could have done to prevent a lightening strike from knocking down a healthy tree.  But if the tree was dead or diseased or damaged, and you did nothing about that, it's possible that you could be found liable in negligence.

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