My neighbor’s tree fell on my shed and yard, power line- can I get damages?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My neighbor’s tree fell on my shed and yard, power line- can I get damages?

I have damage to my shed roof, plus huge tree branches/limbs in my back yard. My
power was out and I had to call power company to fix. My insurance says that I
am responsible for this tree damage. Can I sue the neighbor to get my repairs,
tree removal fees? thanks

Asked on May 31, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A neighbor is only liable or responsible for damage or costs caused by a falling tree or limb if he was at fault. Being at fault means he would have had to have been negligent, or unreasonably careless. That generally means that the tree or the limb was visibily or obviously dead, dying, or otherwise posing a higher-than-normal risk of falling. If there was an obvious heightened risk which they ignored, that failure to mitigate, or take steps against, an obvious risk would be negligent and make them liable. But if there was no reason to think this tree or limb posed an imminent threat, then the did nothing wrong--they would not be expected to take action about a tree/limb that does not seem to pose some imminent risk. In that case, they would not be liable.

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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