If a Tree Falls on Your Property, Who is Responsible?
A house wouldn’t be quite the same if trees weren’t part of the picture – tire swings for your kids and grandkids, fantastic tree house where imaginations can run wild, reduced utility bills due to the shade provided, and added value to your property. Trees can bring so much to a family home. But what happens when it’s not always blue skies and strong trees? What happens when a storm hits and a tree falls? Who is responsible for the aftermath?
There are a few different factors to consider in the state of Georgia when it comes to dealing with fallen trees or branches. Who owns the tree? Was it due to a natural event or were there signs of disease and decay prior? Did the fallen tree or branch land in the yard or did it cause damage to the house or cars?
If your property sustains damage from a fallen tree or branch you should seek legal counsel to determine who, if anyone, is liable. There are numerous factors that come into play when determining negligence or responsibility and legal advice should always be sought from a reputable legal source.
In Georgia, tree ownership is based on where the tree’s roots are located. If the tree is completely within the boundaries of your property you are responsible for the care and upkeep of the tree. If there is a tree that is within the boundary of your neighbor’s property then it is up to them to manage and care for the tree.
Trees are often used as a marker or barrier for boundary lines between properties. If there is a tree that sits directly on the property line, in the state of Georgia, each homeowner is responsible for the part that grows on their side. In these cases, each neighbor cares for the tree as they see fit as long as it does not injure or permanently damage the tree.
It’s not uncommon for severe storms to roll through or for trees, as they age, to have dead branches or be more susceptible to the elements. If there were signs prior to the tree falling like dead or dying branches, fungi growth, or open cavities, then the owner of the tree could be held liable for the tree. Evidence of the unhealthy state can be crucial when providing evidence for negligence or liability.
If your neighbor had a tree you were concerned about, whether it’s health or location, and it was discussed but no action was taken, that can also be proof that the neighbor holds responsibility.
If the tree was in a healthy state before it fell due to a natural event like a severe thunderstorm or even snowstorm, then under GA state law you would be required to file a home insurance claim. Since there was no negligence, your insurance would be responsible for the cost of removing the fallen tree.
Damage to Property
If the fallen tree or branches landed in the yard, then a homeowners insurance claim is all that would be necessary to remove the tree. If there was structural or vehicular damage caused, then further steps would need to be taken. If there was negligence on the owner of the tree’s side, lawyers may need to get involved to make sure your property is restored. If you are the owner of the tree and there were signs that it was not being properly cared for, you may be responsible for the cost of removal.
Whenever you are dealing with a fallen tree or branch, make sure your safety is the most important thing. Trees can conduct electricity, so be sure there are no downed power lines nearby.
If a tree owned by a neighbor or public land falls onto your property seek legal advice to make sure you and your property are protected.
Removal of Fallen Tree
While it might seem like an easy, straightforward task to undertake, there are a lot of risks in trying to remove trees on your own. The safest, fastest, and easiest way to handle removing a dead or fallen tree is to contact an expert.
Gray Brothers Tree Service for All Your Removal Needs
If you are in Macon, Warner Robins, or surrounding areas and are in need of having a tree removed from your property call us today. We have over 25 years of experience and are available 24/7 for emergency calls. No matter how or when the tree fell our team can assess the situation and safely and affordably remove the tree so you can get back to living your life. And don’t worry about waste or clean up. At Gray Brothers, we take all the removed wood back to our recycling yard. Everything we remove will be converted and repurposed into mulch, firewood, top soil, and so much more.
Call us today to talk to one of our certified experts!
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