Fallen tree in drivewayAs a homeowner, you may have more than one tree on your yard. They come in different sizes and shape some can even be excessively large for what is allowed in a landscape. Although trees can be an excellent addition to your property because of the natural shade they offer and the aesthetics they give, they can also endanger your property or worse, your neighbor’s house.

A tree is likely to topple if it is not well maintained or it is diseased or damaged by a storm. When the tree falls onto a neighbor’s yard, the first question that comes into the mind of the homeowner is whether he is liable for it. The easy answer is yes, but this is not always the case.

If a tree falls onto a neighbor’s house, he should file a claim to his insurance provider right away. In most cases, his insurance company will cover the damages, especially if the tree fell due to natural events. One scenario to explain this is when a hurricane uproots a tree. In this case, the insurance company will be liable for the repair costs. However, there are still instances where the homeowner will be responsible for the damage. For example, the tree falls over the roof of his neighbor’s house while he was trimming it; the homeowner would be liable for it. Also, if the homeowner knew that his tree is diseased or dying but didn’t take proper action, he could be responsible.

In the case where the homeowner is liable, his insurance provider should shoulder the cost for repairs. The insurance company is also required to investigate the claim and defend the homeowner in case he gets sued by the neighbor. If the homeowner loses the case to the neighbor, the insurance company should pay up to the policy limit to compensate for the damages.

Most often than not, insurers don’t need to pay for the damages because the cause for the damage is usually due to healthy trees falling over because of acts of nature. But some neighbors may still file a lawsuit to try to compensate for their losses. The best way to prevent any of these situations is tree maintenance. Have a qualified tree service inspect the health of your trees regularly and allow him to treat any diseases, if necessary. As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” The same rule applies to trees. You don’t have to deal with damages or repairs if you keep your trees healthy in the beginning.

Don’t try to analyze the situation on your own, instead seek help from the professional. A certified arborist will be able to tell you if tree removal is necessary or if there are other ways to deal with the situation. Hiring a tree expert is less expensive than having to pay for repair or legal costs a fallen tree could cause.

If unfortunately, you find yourself in a situation where you have a fallen tree in your property, seek legal assistance from an attorney who has a background in the type of issue you have.

For more information, contact Danny LeeburgĀ at Winston-Salem Tree Service.