Am I responsible for damage done to my neighbor’s yard if my tree was blown over?

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Am I responsible for damage done to my neighbor’s yard if my tree was blown over?

A large tree in my yard was blown over during a recent storm. It landed in my neighbor’s yard and. Volunteers came in and cut the tree and put the debris at the curb for the city to pick up. Rather than wait on the city, he paid someone to haul away the debris. He now is asking me to reimburse him for this and also to pay for damage to his yard and sprinkler head. What is my legal responsibility?

Asked on February 21, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends. Was the tree healthy? If it was dead or dying and you knew or should have known of this condition, then you were negligent for not cutting down the tree so you are responsible for any damage caused by its falling over. If, however, the tree was otherwise healthy an an "act of god" was the reason that it came down, then you bear no responsibiltiy for the damage. Your neighbor's has to bear the costs, although his homeowner's insurance should cover his damages (less the deductible which he would have to pay). The same holds true for the debris that he had hauled away.


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