As we head toward autumn in New York, we can anticipate wind storms and snowstorms. Every year, high wind storms cause power outages and a lot of fallen trees. Fallen trees can cause devastating and dangerous damage to people and property. Determining who should pay for repairing damaged homes, fences, and trees can be challenging. If a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, you may be wondering who is liable for the damages. If a neighbor’s tree falls on your home, you are probably concerned about paying for an expensive repair. We will discuss several different scenarios regarding who is responsible for tree damage.
Your Neighbor’s Tree Falls and Hits Your House
Discovering that a tree has fallen onto your home can be startling and devastating. If you are in your home when the tree collapses onto it, you could face serious injuries or even death. Many people are understandably unsure who is supposed to handle the damages when a tree falls into the yard or on their home. In most cases, your home insurance will cover the damage to your home when a tree falls, even if it was your neighbor’s tree.
The tree falling on your home is considered an act of God or an act of nature that could not be prevented. Unless your neighbor had a severely damaged tree and refused to remove it even after you ask them to take it down, there is no way they could prevent their tree from falling. In most instances, if the tree hits your house, regardless of who owns the tree, your home insurance will respond and cover the repairs to your home.
Repairing your home after a tree falls in it can be expensive. In many cases, repairing a home after a tree has fallen on it can exceed $200,000. Additionally, you will be unable to live in your home while they repair it for several months, especially when the damage is serious. You will need the insurance company to pay for a hotel or to help make other arrangements.
A Tree Falls on Your Car While You are Driving It
A tree falling on our car while driving is one of the scariest experiences we can encounter as drivers. Heavy winds can cause a tree to collide with a vehicle at nearly any point. Due to the large size and weight of the tree, the tree can cause serious damage, resulting in a car being totaled. If you have car insurance, your car insurance policy should cover a tree falling on your vehicle.
Working with an attorney can be helpful in this scenario because your attorney can ensure that the insurance adjusters fairly estimate the value of your car. If you would rather receive a check for your car’s current value and not repair it, an attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to help you achieve an outcome that is fair.
A Tree Falls on a Car While it is Parked and Empty
Suppose your neighbor’s tree fell onto your car while you were not in your vehicle. Alternatively, suppose your neighbor’s tree fell onto your shed. In these cases, your insurance policy should cover the damages. Again, the tree falling is considered an act of nature that could not be prevented., unless your neighbor had a severely dangerous and damaged tree and you have proof that you asked them to cut it down. You will need to pursue compensation through your auto insurance or home insurance policy. Damage to your shed may or may not be protected through your home insurance policy. An experienced lawyer can help you determine what your rights are.
Your Neighbor’s Tree Falls and Lands in Your Yard
If a tree falls in your yard and does not damage anything or injure anyone, this is a best-case scenario. The incident could have been much worse. However, you may still have expenses regarding cleaning up the tree and damage to your fence. Unfortunately, home insurance typically does not cover damage to your yard. Home insurance policies specifically cover damage to your home.
There are some extensions that certain insurance companies will include, but in most cases, if a tree falls, even if it is due to a storm, it is a property maintenance situation. In other words, you will need to pay for the cleanup of the tree yourself. There is an exception, however. If the tree had been sick, damaged, or dangerous before the storm happened, it is possible that you could have a claim against your neighbor. In other words, if your neighbor’s negligence caused damage to your property, you could be able to bring a claim against your neighbor for the cost of cleaning up the tree.
Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer on Your Side
Suppose a tree fell on your home, shed, or car, and you have the right home or auto insurance. You may assume that the insurance company will cover all of your damages because you have taken out a policy for circumstances like these. Unfortunately, even if you have a legitimate claim with the insurance company, the adjuster supervising your claim may not provide you with the total amount of compensation you need. Insurance companies are for-profit institutions, and they will try to pay out as little as possible. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will help you maximize the settlement amount for your claim.
Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Lawyer
At Stanley Law Offices, our New York lawyers have extensive experience successfully negotiating with insurance companies. We will hold them accountable and negotiate aggressively with them to help you obtain all of the compensation you deserve for your property damage and other expenses related to the incident. Our lawyers will handle your claim from start to finish while you focus on repairing your home. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.