Tree damaged car

Meathlass

New Member
Messages
5
A tree fell out and damaged the top of my car and broke the windscreen last night who might be responsible to pay for all the damage done. The tree was rotten. My poor car is destroyed
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
9,823
Who was responsible for the tree? For them to have liability, you will need to prove they were aware the tree was posing a danger. See the end of this page.
 

Meathlass

New Member
Messages
5
I don’t know who was responsible for the tree. Was driving home from work and it fell from the side of the road on my car. Where can I find out who was responsible??
 

mathepac

Frequent Poster
Messages
6,708
For them to have liability, you will need to prove they were aware the tree was posing a danger.
Your link says "The owner of a tree which is a danger to the occupiers of adjoining land, or to people lawfully using a public way, is liable for any damage that it causes providing that negligence is proved against the owner. Owners should inspect their trees regularly, calling in professionals if necessary."In the absence of documented, regular, inspections, the owner of the tree is liable
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
9,823
I don’t know who was responsible for the tree. Was driving home from work and it fell from the side of the road on my car. Where can I find out who was responsible??
You need to establish who owns that land it's growing on.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
9,823
In the absence of documented, regular, inspections, the owner of the tree is liable
There is no requirement in law for such inspections or documentation. In practice, the owner just has to state they were unaware of the risk. The onus remains on the injured party to prove negligence.
 

Meathlass

New Member
Messages
5
That would be a hard one to call for me to prove negligence. I have photos of damaged car and where it happened
 

noproblem

Frequent Poster
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1,579
Would a falling tree not be considered as "an act of God" in Insurance terminology and not covered by insurance at all.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
9,823
Would a falling tree not be considered as "an act of God" in Insurance terminology and not covered by insurance at all.
If you can prove that the owner or responsible party was aware that the tree posed a danger, then they can be held liable.
 

demoivre

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,563
Would a falling tree not be considered as "an act of God" in Insurance terminology and not covered by insurance at all.
I would have thought if the OP had fully comprehensive insurance the cost of repairs to the car would be covered. If a neighbour's tree falls on your house it's your own house insurance that you claim on, unless you can prove that the neighbour was negligent.
 

DirectDevil

Frequent Poster
Messages
571
Would a falling tree not be considered as "an act of God" in Insurance terminology and not covered by insurance at all.
Not necessarily.

Act of God [Vis Major] can exist in two contexts.

1. Insurance policy wordings.

It might appear in the wording of some insurance contracts.
That said, I have not seen it in any insurance contract / policy wording for years.
Almost certainly it does not appear in mainstream policies like public liability.

2. Law.

Act of God has a meaning the essence of which is that some natural event of an unforeseeable and or unpreventable nature has happened and it could not by any amount of pains or care or foresight have been avoided.

Falling trees.

In relation to OP's specific question a claimant would have to establish negligence on the part of the owner of the tree.
This would usually require evidence of the state of the tree at the time that it fell.
The tree would need to be examined before it - the primary evidence - disappears.
A couple of photographs immediate post accident could help if there is discernible evidence of rot.
If the tree was defective liability should attach.
If the tree was free of defect it would then fall in to the Act of God territory for which no liability should attach.

I don't think people tend to plead Act of God much these days. A simple denial of negligence should cover the issue.

At a practical level OP's motor insurers should cover the loss of the vehicle - if comprehensive - and the insurers can consider subrogation rights against the tree owner.

Most importantly of all the OP actually survived to drive another day :)
 

DirectDevil

Frequent Poster
Messages
571
I would have thought if the OP had fully comprehensive insurance the cost of repairs to the car would be covered. If a neighbour's tree falls on your house it's your own house insurance that you claim on, unless you can prove that the neighbour was negligent.
Not quite.

In that situation your householders insurance should have no involvement.

Your motor insurance would be the first port of call.
Thereafter, it would be a claim against the neighbour and their liability insurance.
There will be no liability on the neighbour if there is no fault.
 

Peanuts20

Registered User
Messages
45
Under Section 70(2) of the 1993 Roads act, the owner or occupier of land is obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation on the land is not a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road, and that it does not obstruct or interfere with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road.

also see this
 
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