What do I do if the city has denied my claim on car damages from one of their trees, blaming it on an “Act of Nature”?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2015

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What do I do if the city has denied my claim on car damages from one of their trees, blaming it on an “Act of Nature”?

Asked on July 27, 2015 under Accident Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the city: you don't have to take their denial as a judicial determination, because it is not--it is basically the city's opinion that they do not have to pay. If you do not accept their determination, you have the right to sue and let a court determine if the city is liable.

Note though that the city would not be liable just because it was one of their trees; they would only  be liable if at fault. That would generally mean that the city knew that the treat or branch was sick, injured, in danger of falling, etc. and, despite knowing of the risk, took no action to protect people. It can be very hard to make that showing in court; and if the city did not know of the risk or fail to take reasonable action, they would not be liable.

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