Am I responsible for damage done to my neighbor’s yard if my tree was blown over?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Am I responsible for damage done to my neighbor’s yard if my tree was blown over?

A large tree in my yard was blown over during a recent storm. It landed in my neighbor’s yard and. Volunteers came in and cut the tree and put the debris at the curb for the city to pick up. Rather than wait on the city, he paid someone to haul away the debris. He now is asking me to reimburse him for this and also to pay for damage to his yard and sprinkler head. What is my legal responsibility?

Asked on February 21, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends. Was the tree healthy? If it was dead or dying and you knew or should have known of this condition, then you were negligent for not cutting down the tree so you are responsible for any damage caused by its falling over. If, however, the tree was otherwise healthy an an "act of god" was the reason that it came down, then you bear no responsibiltiy for the damage. Your neighbor's has to bear the costs, although his homeowner's insurance should cover his damages (less the deductible which he would have to pay). The same holds true for the debris that he had hauled away.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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