If a tree falls on your property line and no one is around to hear it, who has to pay for the damages it causes to personal property? You might assume that whoever owns the tree would be responsible for the tree, both when it’s time to clean it up and when it’s time to fix a car, house, or other property that it fell on. The truth is that negligence isn’t the same thing as ownership.

To prove negligence, you must prove that the defendant owns the tree, that the tree was unsafe and fell, and that you or your property were harmed as a direct result of the tree falling. However, you also have to prove that the defendant was negligent in caring for the tree.

Another way to say that is the defendant knew the tree needed to be cared for and did not do so. This can make liability a little more difficult to ascertain because it depends on to what extend a reasonable person would say trees need to be cared for. If the tree doesn’t grow leaves anymore, a reasonable homeowner might say that tree needed to be removed, and the homeowner might be found negligent.

An Atlanta premises liability attorney can provide more information and advice on the matter.

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