What are my rights if my neighbor has never taken care of the trees that have been growing into my property for years and in trying to cut branches that were overhanging in my yard I fell and hurt my foot?

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What are my rights if my neighbor has never taken care of the trees that have been growing into my property for years and in trying to cut branches that were overhanging in my yard I fell and hurt my foot?

This is a family owned house and the son who lived there passed away 2 years ago. Since then the house has been empty and the property is now not being taken care of. It was so bad I built a fence on my deck to separate the yards. I was trying to trim branches near the top of the fence that were growing into my yard and fell off the fence into neighbor yard shattering my heel in my foot. I believe that the injury was so bad because I fell on dead branches and such that litter their yard. Do I have a case for lost wages and pain and suffering against them?

Asked on October 25, 2015 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

So, you injured yourself because as a (presumably) non-professional tree trimmer, you were evidently standing on a fence to trim a tree belonging to someone else and fell onto their property? No, you do not, based on what you write, have a valid claim or cause of action against your neighbors; that is because your injuries were due to your own negligence or unreasonable carelessness in standing on a fence to trim someone else's tree. Moreover, your neighbors have no duty to clean up their yard to prevent a trespasser--that is, you; you had no right to be trimming their tree or in their yard--from being injured by dead branches, and with no duty to cleam up their yard for this purpose, they are not liable if a trespasser falls on those branches and injures themselves. Unfortunately, this is a situation where it appears that you cannot hold anyone accountable but yourself.


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