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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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