Neighbors are a blessing…most of the time. While Ian brought out the best in many neighborhoods, with families working together to clean up, get by without electricity, and band together to recover from the storm, it brought out the worst in others. For individuals who were left with damage from a neighbor’s tree falling on their property (or having a large limb fall on their property), the laws revolving around who’s responsible can seem confusing and add extra stress to an already stressful time.

In reality, the law in Florida that covers this issue is relatively straightforward. Deciding the party responsible for paying for damages all depends on the health of the tree.

That’s right. The health of the tree in question is the ultimate deciding factor when determining who is responsible for paying for damage to fences, houses, and/or vehicles. In Florida law, if a tree is verified as healthy, the person whose property the tree is on will not be held liable for damages. In other words, if a strong, healthy tree in your backyard fell on your neighbor’s pool screen during the intense wind gusts from Ian, you are not responsible for paying for that damage. However, if the tree ends up being verified as diseased, you (or rather, your homeowner’s insurance) would be responsible for replacing your neighbor’s screen and covering the necessary repairs to their home and property. What’s more, if you knew the tree was unhealthy beforehand and it’s documented, your insurance company could end up denying the claim, leaving YOU holding the bill for the repairs, removal of the tree, and any other related expenses.

If your neighbor failed to heed your warnings about a diseased tree, and Ian made that tree your problem, contact Brooks Law Group. We represent you and work with all involved parties to get the compensation you need and deserve, so you can repair your home and move on. Have questions? Contact us for a FREE, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how Florida’s tree law applies to your situation, and find out how we can help you. When accidents happen, Look to Brooks!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.