Recent news about Storm Eleanor has drawn attention to what havoc treacherous weather can cause. A particularly common problem is that of falling trees; Storm Eleanor triggered gusts reaching 100mph and falling trees that injured at least four people, The Guardian reported.
In the chaos of the storm, trees also hit cars and adversely affected numerous rail routes. However, how should you react if it is your home on which a tree falls and causes damage?
Could legal recompense be available?
If a tree does fall on your home, there could be resulting damage so serious that it requires thousands of pounds to be put right. Given that you are unlikely to be overly enthusiastic about digging deep into your pockets to personally fund the entire outlay, it’s worth considering legal implications of the incident. Could you really sue someone for the damage?
As a general rule, no-one can be held legally liable for what the weather causes. However, it isn’t entirely beyond possibility that a claim could be leveled against someone. The Financial Times highlights one particularly intriguing example of a tree that could reasonably have been expected to fall and damage the residence, even on the assumption that the weather would not make this likely.
Grounds on which you could sue
How could it be deemed that a tree’s fall was “reasonably foreseeable”? Basically, if that tree was old and looked slightly decrepit. However, if that tree was in your neighbor’s garden and therefore their responsibility, it might still not be entirely wise for you to pursue a claim against them.
One big reason why is that you would probably still need to gather evidence that the tree was in a sufficiently poor condition before it fell. Such evidence could include photographs of that tree before its fall, not to mention opinion provided by an arboricultural surveyor.
Home is where the insurance is
Even if you do have such evidence, you should first investigate the possibility of raising the repair costs by issuing a claim on your home insurance. Even if the culprit tree wasn’t yours, this insurance should still cover those costs.
This is certainly likely to be the easier and less expensive manner of sourcing the money. While it might remain possible for you to legally compel your neighbor to pay any excess that would otherwise be solely your responsibility, this tactic could simply require more cost and effort that would be worthwhile.
Professionals could repair your home on your behalf
Whatever damage the tree inflicts on your home, you could find professionals who are capable of repairing that property and, ultimately, returning it to its previous condition.
That tree could cause an especially large amount of damage to your roof, given how exposed this particular part of your home is to the outside. However, you could still look for a local roofing firm staff of which could promptly travel to have that roof repaired in emergency circumstances. Findley Roofing & Building is such an example of a Leeds roofing company.
Author: Molly McDonald