If we just had an ice storm and my neighbor’s tree caused damage to my property, are they responsible to pay for the repairs?

My neighbor’s tree had branches extending over to my property, one of them broke off and fell on my power lines causing my meter box to be torn off the wall. Is my neighbor responsible for the cost of the repairing my meter box and other costs of the electrician

Asked on December 1, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that if your neighbor's tree falls on your property, even if it causes injury to a person or damage to property, they will not be liable so long as they are not negligent.
So, for example, did the tree owner have any knowledge that the tree was a potential hazard? Should the tree owner have been on notice of a problem because the tree was not showing leaves but only bare limbs? Did you complain about the safety of your tree, and yet you took no action? If not, then there was probably no negligence involved in the incident.Furthermore, since the tree fell during a severe ice storm, they can raise the defense that this was an "Act of God". That having been said, in such a case, your homeowner's insurance should cover this.


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