If a tree falls on your house, you’re likely to experience some serious stress. Along with worrying about your home and your belongings, you’re probably concerned with a financial question: Who is responsible for covering the damages incurred? Let’s take a closer look.
Tree Damage in Georgia
After Hurricane Irma in 2017, Atlanta and the surrounding areas saw an uptick in fallen trees. Additionally, Trees Atlanta points out that the metro area is home to the largest “urban tree canopy.” While trees are lovely and offer pleasant shade, dealing with the effects a fallen tree has on your home can be a challenge.
So who pays? In a nutshell, if the fallen tree is in your yard, you are likely the one responsible for payment. According to the law, if the tree was healthy and did not fall due to death or disease, the costs fall on you. However, note that rural areas outside of the metro area may have a different set of laws. Here’s how to minimize the chances of a tree falling on your home or someone else’s house, and how to find out what to do if that unfortunate event occurs.
Get Your Trees Examined
If a tree falls on your house, a neighbor is only responsible if their fallen tree is dead or diseased. That’s why it’s important to ensure your trees are healthy and not liable in the event of a fall. An inspection can help keep you, your family and your neighbors safe, as well as minimize the odds of damage to your homes.
If your neighbor’s tree does fall onto your home causing damage or even injury, after making sure everyone is safe, pull out your cell phone and photograph or video the damage. It’s crucial to document the incident in case the fallen tree was, in fact, diseased or dead.
Call Your Insurance Agent
After assessing the damage, call your home insurance agent. While they will likely tell you that responsibility is yours if the tree is not diseased or dead, they can also provide information about how to file your insurance claim. Essentially, they make sure your financial headache doesn’t turn into a migraine.
Getting a tree out of your yard isn’t a do-it-yourself job. The process is often cumbersome and, in some cases, dangerous. Depending on the scope of the damage, you may have to hire contractors to repair your home, garden shed or fence, in addition to removing the tree itself.
Find a Good Lawyer
Although the law may seem clear about who incurs the costs of fallen trees, that doesn’t mean your situation is simple. Incidents like a neighbor’s tree falling on your home often result in complex legal situations. It may be necessary to hire a lawyer to assist in navigating the law.
Whether a neighbor’s tree has fallen on your home, or your tree has hit a neighbor’s property, the results are rarely easy to navigate. That’s why you should follow the above steps to keep the inconvenience to a minimum. The experience of having a tree fall through your home can be made even worse by not knowing the best way to clean up the mess.
If a tree falls on your house and you’re seeking quality repairs, contact Findlay Roofing immediately. With a dedication to excellent customer service and superior workmanship, we can help you get your home in good condition as quickly as possible.