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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55285
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Do I have to pay part of my neighbor's tre hat uprooted

Customer Question

Do I have to pay for the part of my neighbor's tre hat uprooted from too much rain and part of it fell in my yard?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
Can you provide me a bit more information? Are you talking about the costs of cleaning up the tree and/or damages caused by the tree? Also, was the tree damaged, diseased, or dead prior to the storm? Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The tree uprooted in neighbor's yard from too much rain. Part of it fell across the back of my property, not damaging anything, as it's a shrubby area.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The tree uprooted from too much rain in my neighbor's yard, and part of it fell on the back of my hill damaging nothing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her tree expert said it was a healthy tree.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you still there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm talking about the costs of removing the part of the tree that's on my property. She seems to think I have to pay for that.
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Yes...I'm just too me a few minutes to type my response. Thanks for your patience. And, thanks for following up. Unfortunately, when it falls due to too much rain and not from any pre-existing condition of the tree, it is considered an Act of God for which the neighbor (and the neighbor's insurance company) is not liable. So, with respect to the cost of cleaning up your property, you would have the responsibility of cleaning up the tree portion on your property. But, I would not let your insurance company decline coverage. The insurance company doesn't simply get the unilateral right to determine that an insured is not covered because they are not exactly an unbiased party. Write the insurance company a certified, return receipt requested letter explaining the situation in detail and demand that they agree to coverage within a short specified period of time or you will have no choice but to file a claim against them. Be sure to mention you intend to file this claim as not only a breach of contract claim, but also as a failure to reasonably settle, which will entitle you not only to actual damages, but an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. This is typically all you need do, because insurance companies want to avoid punitive damages and the bad publicity that comes with failing to settle. Plus, they have the added incentive to avoid going to court because they are aware that jurors are biased against insurance companies because most everyone has had an experience similar to yours. If this is simply the cost of cleaning up, if you do have to file the suit, you should be able to file this in small claims court and thus would be able to do so without the need to engage a lawyer.
Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you this was absolutely your neighbor's responsibility, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

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