If during a hurricane my car was struck by a large falling tree branch from a neighbor’s yard, are they responsible to pay for the damages done to my car?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If during a hurricane my car was struck by a large falling tree branch from a neighbor’s yard, are they responsible to pay for the damages done to my car?

And, if so, how would I go about getting them to pay for damages?

Asked on November 25, 2012 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The neighbors are most likely not responsible. To be liable, or financially responsible, someone must be at fault; fault in a case like this typically arises from negligence, or unreasonable carelessness. Clearly, there is no fault in the hurricane--that is beyond anyone's control. Therefore, to hold your neighbors liable, you would have to show that they were unreasonably careless in some way that contributed to the damage. To do that, you'd have to show that the tree was visibly sick or dead, or that branch visibly damaged or drooping excessively and ready to fall, at some point prior to the hurricane, but the neighbors did nothing about it. Also, if they won't pay voluntarily, even if they were liable, the only way to get the money would be to sue them.

 


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption