If my neighbor’s tree fell and damaged my house and car who is responsible?

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If my neighbor’s tree fell and damaged my house and car who is responsible?

No storm; it was a sunny day.

Asked on August 10, 2011 Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Was the tree visibly sick or ailing? Was it too top heavy generally? Were its roots damaged by anything the neighbor had done (such as by cutting into them to insall a patio, walkway, etc. nearby)? Was the tree leaning before it feel? Did the neighbor poison or injure the tree in some way (e.g. a spill from his oil tank)? Essentially, IF there was either warning that the tree was a problem and that the neighbor should address it, or if the neighbor actually caused the problem, then he or she may well be liable. But without any warning which the neighbor ignored, or any other fault on his or her part, the neighbor is most likely not liable, since a person  is only liable in the vast majority of situations if there is some fault--unreasonable carelessness (negligence) or deliberate bad act.


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