If a limb from a tree falls on your car while you are parked on a city street and the car is totaled, is the city liable at all? It was not weather related.

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If a limb from a tree falls on your car while you are parked on a city street and the car is totaled, is the city liable at all? It was not weather related.

My son lives in an apartment and has to park on city streets beacause the apartment complex does not have a lot. A tree limb fell on his car and it was totaled. Is the city liable at all, at least to pay his deductable for his insurance?

Asked on August 2, 2019 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The city would only be liable if your son can show that they were at fault in some way. That generally means showing that they had knowledge that the tree generally or that limb specifically was sick or dead and so at an enhanced risk of falling, since failing to trim or cut down a tree or limb posing an enhanced or imminent risk is negligent (unreasonably careless). But if the tree was healthy, or even if it was sick or dying but there was no reason the city would have been aware of that, they would not be at fault, since they would have had no reason they should have done anything.


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