What am I suppose to do regarding an accident that caused damage to an uninsured car?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What am I suppose to do regarding an accident that caused damage to an uninsured car?

During a wind storm a tree limb hit my neighbor’s car, knocked his side mirror off and put a dent in his car. After talking, I put a claim though my insurance but they denied it, calling the incident

Asked on July 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can pay your neighbor something (an amount you determine) IF you want to--but you don't have to pay him anything if you don't want to pay. A property owner is NOT liable simple because his or her tree limb damaged another's property; rather, he or she is only liable if at fault in some way, which in a case like this generally means by not trimming, etc. a visibly dead, damaged or sick limb (or prunning or even cutting down a whole tree that seems dead, damaged, or sick). That is because in that case, you are not taking reasonable steps to reduce an obvious risk. But if the tree and its limb seemed healthy, there there was no reason to think there was an particular risk; if the limb fell due to high winds, it was not your fault, and if it is not your fault, you are not liable. If you are not liable, your insurer will not pay. So based on what you write, you do not have to pay, but might choose voluntarily to do so.

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