Should my neighbor’s insurer be accountable for fixing the damages their tree caused to my car?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Should my neighbor’s insurer be accountable for fixing the damages their tree caused to my car?

About 2 months ago, a neighbor’s oak tree fell on my car leaving a dent, several scratches and a broken tailight. Their insurer said that the neighbor is not liable because nothing caused the tree to fall. However, a few days later we found out the tree roots were cut on one side of the tree to make room for putting in a pool in the backyard by the previous owner of the home. Also, before the tree fell it was raining a lot for days in a row, making the ground soft.

Asked on March 19, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most courts have held that the if damage is caused by the negligence of a neighboring homeowner, then that homeowner bears liability. The fact is that this tree falling was not an "act of god" but rather, due to the fact that the root system of the tree had been intentionally compromised. 

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