A tree fell on our mobile home total loss also crushed two of our cars a neighbors tree mother in law had no insurence who is responsible

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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A tree fell on our mobile home total loss also crushed two of our cars a neighbors tree mother in law had no insurence who is responsible

A tree limb from a neighbor’s yard fell on our mobile home complete loss also crushed our cars my mother-in-law had no insurence who is responsible for the damage we have no where to live

Asked on May 21, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The neighbor is only responsible IF the neighbor was at fault in some way. Fault in a case like this generally means that the tree was obviously or visibly sick, damaged, dying, dead, etc. and so there was some reason to think it posed a particular  threat--if it did, but despite there being an obvious or visible threat, the neighbor failed to take reasonable action (e.g. getting the tree trimmed or even cut down entirely) to reduce or eliminate the threat, that negligence (unreasonable carelessness) can make them liable. In this case, if they do not voluntarily pay you, you could sue them for your losses.
But if there was no reason to think this tree a special or enhanced threat (e.g. it appeared healthy) then they did nothing wrong in not taking steps, such as trimming limbs or cutting it down--there was nothing putting them on warning of the need to take protective steps. In this case, they would not have been negligent and would not be liable: you will have to pay for your own loss.

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