Need tree cutting or tree removal in Manhattan & the Bronx?

Urban living in Manhattan brings unique challenges, which holds true even when it comes to the occasional act of nature. If your neighbor’s tree has fallen and caused damage to your property, there are steps you need to take to protect yourself and address the issue.

Immediate Steps

  1. Safety First: Ensure that no one is in danger. If the fallen tree has damaged power lines, call the authorities immediately. Do not approach the area yourself.
  2. Document Thoroughly: Take detailed photographs and videos of all the damage. Document the tree’s condition before its fall (if possible), the extent of the impact on your property, and the location where the tree fell.
  3. Contact Your Insurance Company: File a claim with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy as soon as possible. They will guide you through the process.
  4. Talk to Your Neighbor: While emotions may be high, calmly approach your neighbor. Alert them to the situation, but avoid accusations or assigning immediate blame.
  5. Emergency Tree Service: For fallen trees posing a risk, or if you need professional assistance in dealing with the aftermath, contact NYC Tree Trimming & Removal Corp for emergency tree services. We offer free on-site estimates too.

Who’s Liable? Legal Considerations in Manhattan

Determining liability for a fallen tree in Manhattan can be complex. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The ‘Healthy Tree’ Rule: Generally, if the tree was healthy and the fall was caused by an “Act of God” (like a severe storm), your neighbor likely won’t be held liable. Your insurance would likely cover the damage.
  • Negligence Factor: If the tree was dead, diseased, or visibly compromised, and your neighbor should reasonably have been aware of the danger, they might be liable.
  • Encroachment: If the tree had branches or roots significantly crossing onto your property, you may have a valid claim for damages even prior to the fall.
  • Manhattan-Specific Ordinances: There may be specific laws or ordinances in NYC regarding tree care and removal. Be sure to research these.

How to Proceed

  • Insurance Companies: Your insurance company may handle much of the process, including communicating with your neighbor’s insurance.
  • Mediation: Consider engaging a mediator to assist in resolving the matter, particularly if relations with your neighbor are important to maintain.
  • Small Claims Court: If the damages are relatively minor, you could file a claim in small claims court.
  • Legal Counsel: For complex cases involving significant property damage, consult an attorney specializing in property law in Manhattan.

Important Reminders

  • Act Promptly: Start the documentation process and contact your insurer right away.
  • Don’t Remove Evidence: Wait for authorization from your insurer before removing the fallen tree unless it poses an immediate safety hazard.
  • Stay Calm: While stressful, resolving such matters requires a level head. Focus on clear communication and documenting the facts.