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Who Is Responsible for a Fallen Tree in Marietta, GA?

Is a fallen tree straddling your property line? You're probably wondering, "Who is responsible for a fallen tree?" 

As a trusted tree removal company in Marietta, GA, Top Tier Trees can help you determine who's responsible when a tree falls, navigate the insurance claim with you, and efficiently remove it.

Factors Affecting the Responsibility for a Fallen Tree

When determining who bears responsibility for removing a fallen tree, you'll consider several factors that help authorities establish who should pay for it.

How the Tree Fell

One important consideration in determining responsibility for a fallen tree depends on what caused the damage. In general, you can separate the causes into one of two categories.

Natural causes of tree damage include severe weather events like lightning, high winds, flooding, or hail. In fact, natural causes are one of the most common reasons for a tree falling over. Scientific American reports that, during Hurricane Sandy, nearly 8,500 toppled in New York City alone. 

Natural causes are anything you can't control. In general, depending on your insurance policy and other factors, you won't have to pay the full price to remove a tree damaged by natural causes. 

Negligence is another common cause of fallen trees. This refers to any problem you could have avoided with proper management, inspection, and care. For example, if you didn't properly prune or trim the tree, or you could have identified a pest infestation or disease, you didn't perform your due diligence in caring for the tree.

While insurance will likely pay most or all the cost of a tree that falls from natural causes, if it falls from negligence, you're on the hook for the expenses.

Who Owned the Tree

Who pays for a fallen tree depends, in part, on the tree owner. For example, if a tree sits rooted on your neighbor's side of the property line, they'll likely bear responsibility, even if it falls on your land. If a tree sits on the property line and the roots extend into both your land and your neighbor's, you'll share responsibility, which often means splitting the cost of removing it.

The Fallen Location

The location of the tree falls can muddy some issues of ownership. If a tree falls on your car, shed, or home, you're responsible for repairing the property damage, and may also become responsible for removing the tree. If your tree falls onto city property, you'll have to pay for removal up to your property line, but the city will pay for the portion on its land.

What To Do With a Fallen Tree on Your Property

Even if you know who is responsible for a fallen tree, when a trunk or branch falls on your property, you should take certain steps to ensure it gets removed properly, promptly, and affordably. When a tree falls on your property, use the following steps.

Determine Responsibility

If the cause, ownership, and location aren't easily apparent, you'll need to work with a tree service professional or insurance agent to determine who's responsible. If the tree didn't cause immediate damage, you can spend some time taking pictures and gathering evidence to help establish responsibility.

However, if the fallen tree caused damage, such as falling on your garage or another structure, you should call for immediate help. In this case, delaying tree removal can cause more damage to your property or severely injure someone.

Contact Insurance

You should contact your insurance agent about the fallen tree as soon as possible. Follow these steps to improve your chances of the company successfully processing your claim:

  1. Call your agent once you notice the fallen tree, and leave a message if it's after hours. Calling immediately shows your agent you take the problem seriously and will work with them to resolve the issue.
  2. Take pictures and detailed notes to document the tree and any damage it caused.
  3. If the tree caused damage to your home, ask whether your policy will pay for living expenses.
  4. Stay polite and professional with your insurance agent, but don't hesitate to advocate for yourself or seek a compromise that favors you.
  5. Inspect the remaining trees.

While you're waiting for your insurance agent to arrive, inspect the other trees on your property for damage or potential hazards. Your tree service can address the issues when they remove your fallen tree. Staying proactive about tree health and hazards can help you avoid future accusations of negligence.

Schedule Emergency Tree Services

A fallen tree is always an emergency, so you should schedule service as soon as possible. However, when it falls on a structure, it's even more serious.

Still, no matter where the tree falls, never risk removing it yourself. Call the team with the experience, knowledge, and equipment to do the job safely and effectively.

Protect Your Trees From Falling

Your best chance of protecting your family, home, and financial security is to prevent your tree from falling. While you can't control the weather, you can help your tree endure high winds, rain, and other environmental factors.

Trim and Prune the Tree

Regularly trimming your tree reduces overgrowth. This helps the tree maintain its structural integrity and allows wind to move through it more naturally.

Pruning your tree removes hazardous branches that could spread disease or insect infestations. This keeps the structure of your tree strong.

Consult an Arborist

An arborist can regularly inspect your tree and help it avoid disease and infestations that can make it vulnerable to falling.

Proactive Removal

If you notice signs of poor tree health, remove the tree before it falls over. If you fail to remove a sick tree, you put yourself at risk of negligence should it fall.

Top Tier Trees Can Remove Fallen Trees

Now that you know who is responsible for a fallen tree, you can confidently call Top Tier Trees when it happens. From explaining the reasons why tree leaves are turning brown to emergency tree removal, they do everything with professionalism. Don't trust the safety of your home to any other tree service company.

To schedule your tree removal services, contact them today.

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    • My favorite tree service crew! I rank Top Tier high for their safety and professionalism. Did removal & stump grinding last year, and called them again for tree service this year. David shared vital info about my trees. Chaz and Erin have been great to work with. The tree svc crews work very well together on site; a pleasure to watch. I'd call them again

      -Frank Maina, GA
    • Wow, great customer service, promptly returned my calls and had Erin, a sales and customer service representative out within 2 hours. I was very happy with the quote so we wanted to get started right away. Their was an opening in their schedule and had a crew at my house all before noon on Friday. Very fast and efficient, i could not be more pleased.

      - Robin Chitwood, GA
    • Outstanding & professional work! We had 7 trees removed & the crew did an excellent job from start to finish. They even trimmed a few branches that needed trimming. Clean-up was great. The crew introduced themselves & engaged with us throughout the job.

      -Jean B.Marietta, GA
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