Is the neighbor responsible for damage to cars caused by a branch of their tree?

My friend’s car and rental cars’ back windshields were smashed out by falling branches owned by a neighbor who was asked to trim the branches but did not. He has a $1,000 deductable. Is the neighbor liable?

Asked on July 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your neighbor is liable for the damages caused by trees with respect to windshields of cars parked in the neighborhood depends upon if your neighbor knew or should have known that his or her trees could cause damages that you have written about.

If this neighbor was asked solely to trim the trees from a cosmetic aspect is entirely different than if the neighbor was warned that his or her trees were a dangerous condition. If the latter, then the neighbor could be liable for the damaged windshields.


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