Am I responsible for any scratches to my neighbor’s car that were supposedly caused by my tree’s branches?

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Am I responsible for any scratches to my neighbor’s car that were supposedly caused by my tree’s branches?

They have grown over from my property onto hers.

Asked on July 26, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The key issue is whether you were negligent, or unreasonably careless. If you were, you may be liable, or legally responsible to pay for the damage. In a situation like this, negligence would chiefly arise if you knew, or had reason to know, that the branches were so long that there reaching the neighbor's property and were protruding onto where she parked her car, so that they could scratch her car's paint. If it was obvious, or should have been obvous to the average reasonable person, that this was the case, then you indeed may be liable--assuming, that is, that your neighbor can establish that the scratches were, in fact, caused by your branches (and not, for example, picked up in a supermarket or shopping center parking lot).


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