I Was Injured By a Falling Tree - Who's Responsible? | HLG

I Was Injured By a Falling Tree – Who’s Responsible?

tree injury

This summer began with seemingly constant rain. While it did delay the heat and humidity for at least a few weeks, the deluge did its share of damage on unplanted fields and flood plains. And for homeowners with steep lawns, runoff presented another problem: leaning trees.

Tree roots have a hard time clinging to wet soil, especially if the tree is diseased or dying. And in storm season, a leaning tree quickly becomes dangerous.

Homeowners insurance helps if a falling tree damages your property. But what if you are injured by a tree owned by a neighbor?

If the tree fell because your neighbor was negligent, then you could file a personal injury claim through their insurance. But if the tree was felled by a storm or other natural event, you might not be able to hold anyone liable.

Acts of God

rain

As convenient as it would be to blame an annoying neighbor, sometimes the only thing responsible for a felled tree is the weather itself.

Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by unforeseeable risks or “perils” like wind or lightning strikes. Not all policies cover the same perils, so be sure to check with your insurance agent about your specific policy.

If your neighbor’s tree is knocked down in a windstorm, your homeowner’s insurance could pay for property damage if you have coverage for windstorms.

However, most homeowners policies only cover property damage caused by acts of God, not injuries. If your neighbor has med-pay coverage under their homeowners policy, that might cover your medical bills. Otherwise you’ll have to dip into your own health insurance.

Their Tree, Their Responsibility

house tree

Property owners must keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes maintaining any trees on their property — removing dead branches, making sure tree roots don’t do damage to adjoining properties, and generally ensuring the tree is safe.

You have the right to notify your neighbor if the tree looks like it’s about to fall, or if you’ve noticed dead branches hanging over your property. In some cases, your neighbor’s insurance company may even refuse coverage unless they remove an unsafe tree.

If your neighbor knew that soil erosion was causing the tree to lean dangerously, or that branches were dead and needed pruning, and didn’t do anything about it, their negligence makes them responsible.

Who’s Responsible: Nature or Neighbor?

If there is even the slightest chance that the tree fell because of your neighbor’s negligence, things can get tricky.

Say that you were hurt by a dead branch that was knocked down during a storm. Who’s to blame: the storm, or your neighbor?

Did your neighbor know that the branch was dead, but didn’t bother to remove it? If so, they were negligent and are legally liable for your injuries.

If they were negligent, you could file a claim to recover any damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering) for your injuries.* But you must prove that they had prior knowledge of the tree’s condition. For instance:

  • Had you told them before that the tree was leaning towards your property?
  • Had a previous inspection revealed the tree was diseased and needed pruning?
  • Did the municipal utility companies previously ask for the tree’s removal?

*The only exception to this is if you were injured on a wooded plot of your neighbor’s land. It’s unreasonable to expect them to monitor all the trees in a heavily wooded area. If you were injured on your neighbor’s property, a premises liability attorney can help determine if you have a case.

Gathering this type of evidence can be difficult when you’ve been injured. A personal injury lawyer can not only help determine if your neighbor was negligent, but can also act as the go-between for you and the insurance companies. That way, all you need to focus on is your recovery.

If you’ve been injured by a fallen tree or branch, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Give us a call or contact us online for a free conversation about your personal injury claim.

Freddie Kincaid

As an accident victim and single father in dire need of help and at the end of my rope, somehow a gentleman named Jonathan contacted me today about my accident, and within few minutes of our conversation he had calmed me down from a 10 to a 5 and took a load of stress, anger, fear, anxiety, depression and being lost off me 50% and helped me see light at end of a dark tunnel. Thank you Jonathan.

Linda Preston

As an accident victim and single father in dire need of help and at the end of my rope, somehow a gentleman named Jonathan contacted me today about my accident, and within few minutes of our conversation he had calmed me down from a 10 to a 5 and took a load of stress, anger, fear, anxiety, depression and being lost off me 50% and helped me see light at end of a dark tunnel. Thank you Jonathan.

Twila Bishop

I have to say that I am very pleased with how Hensley handled my case. They were really quick about getting on my case and getting me a settlement. They didn't delay at all. My car accident lawyer, Phil, was amazing. He got me everything I deserved. I've already recommended Hensley to a friend who needed a good car accident attorney. I recommend that you call them, ESPECIALLY if the insurance is giving you a hard time like they tried to do to me.

Cory Clear

I have to say that I am very pleased with how Hensley handled my case. They were really quick about getting on my case and getting me a settlement. They didn't delay at all. My car accident lawyer, Phil, was amazing. He got me everything I deserved. I've already recommended Hensley to a friend who needed a good car accident attorney. I recommend that you call them, ESPECIALLY if the insurance is giving you a hard time like they tried to do to me.

Radhika Vijayakumar

All I had to do was reach out to Hensley and get them my information. They handled the rest. And they handled it like a pro. Hensley was great. I would recommend them to anyone who needs a good personal injury firm.

Elaine Pippens

All I had to do was reach out to Hensley and get them my information. They handled the rest. And they handled it like a pro. Hensley was great. I would recommend them to anyone who needs a good personal injury firm.

Rhonda Houser

They not only work hard on your case but treat you with respect. They make sure you understand what is happening and what to expect. I have full confidence in their legal abilities, and I am thankful for all the help they have given me.

Patricia Allen

Hensley Legal Group did a great job. My case took awhile to resolve but they were very nice and even sent me a birthday and Christmas card.

Sarah Stamper

Excellent people. Kind and informative throughout the process. I would recommend this firm highly. Thank you all for your commitment to my case. I feel like my family can now face the future with hope.

Doris Smith

I was so happy with the service Hensley Legal Group provided for me. They were so professional, and cared about me, reassuring me when I wasn't always in a good place. They let me know that everything was going to be alright! If I had any questions or needed anything, they were there for me, and gave me quality service.

JD Anderson

I was in a major car accident early this summer. Thanks to Forrest and the group at Hensley Legal I will never go anywhere else. Neither should you.

Jackie Badgett

I was in a bad accident, Hensley had a paralegal in my house the day after I called them. He told me what to expect and he was right on the money. They made this stressful situation so much easier. I highly recommend team Hensley. Fair and honest folks.

Earle Cooke White III

When I was in a serious truck accident and needed a great attorney to handle the matter, Rudy from Hensley Legal Group gave me that assistance.

Andrea Uhl

I used Hensley Legal Group when I was in a serious car accident back in May of 2021 and the representative that helped me through everything was Natalie, and she was fantastic. Thank you again for everything you did for me and my family!

Carrie Kuenz

I had gotten to a point with the auto insurance that I didn't have any more energy to put into negotiating, but I knew they were trying to just get me to settle, so the Hensley group was great and took that off my plate!

Addison Smith

Rudy from Hensley Legal Group was able to get them to increase their offer to not only cover my medical debt, but also a little extra to help make things easier for me.

Liana Lucinda Quiroz

The staff at Hensley Legal Group are very welcoming and were able to answer all of my questions. Anyone needing assistance with personal injury or Social Security disability, I would suggest that you reach out to Hensley Legal Group.

Sherry Stettler

The Hensley Legal Group helped my husband get his disability after a short time. We would like to thank you and we appreciate your professionalism!

Stephanie Cornelius

Hensley Legal Group handled my Disability claim. I was totally pleased with my experience with them. They were very professional and made the whole process very easy for me. Iw ill absolutely use Hensley Legal Group for any other legal issue I may have! I would give them 10 stars!!

Brad Eastes

This team was very diligent in swift response to my initial call and after referring me to one call to Social Security for some info to file, I give my strongest recommendation to any one who can use the services they provide!

Robin Verlinden

We have used Hensley Legal Group for an auto injury case and for a social security disability case and were very pleased with the outcome. Chris Czernik and Katrina Hildebrandt and their teams were kind, compassionate, and helpful. We would highly recommend them to anyone in need of assistance.

Williams Widina

My attorney is experienced and very knowledgeable about the nuances of labor law. It feels great to have such a skilled attorney on your side. I truly believe that they have The Strength to Make a Difference. I highly recommend using The Hensley Group.

Jason Kimmerling

The whole team was very professional and sincere. They really were concerned about closing my case before my injuries were healed and making sure to cover all bases regarding my accident.

Dion Hazelbaker

The whole team was very professional and sincere. They really were concerned about closing my case before my injuries were healed and making sure to cover all bases regarding my accident.

Leslie Newland

I was in an accident involving three totaled vehicles and ultimately one fatality. I’d never been in a situation like this before and didn’t know where to even start. So glad I called Hensley! They were so easy to work with and I’m sure got far more for me than I would’ve been able to get myself. They were kind, professional, and got the job done!

Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Available 24/7

Free Case Review

You won’t pay any fees until we win your case.

It’s easy - you can:

Or fill out our contact form
We respect your privacy. Your personal information will only be used by Hensley Legal Group, who may contact you using modern phone equipment, which may include auto-dialers and text.