Oklahoma Storm Damage Claims: Who is Responsible for the Fallen Tree?Posted November 25, 2017
According to data provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oklahoma sees average wind speeds that are far above the national average. As such, it is not surprising to learn that fallen trees cause significant property damage in Oklahoma City every year. Whether in a tornado or severe thunderstorm, bad weather can take down large trees. When trees fall, the resulting property insurance claim can be complex. Here, Oklahoma storm damage lawyers help you clarify who is responsible for damage caused by a fallen tree.
Is My Neighbor Responsible?
In Oklahoma, there are many trees that are tall enough to hit and damage a structure that is on an adjacent piece of property. Many homeowners want to know if they can hold their next door neighbor liable for damage caused by a falling tree. There is no simple, straightforward answer to this question. It is certainly possible that the owner of the tree could potentially be financially responsible for their neighbor’s property damage. However, these types of claims are extremely complex.
Typically, property owners will only be held liable for the damage caused by fallen trees that were on their property if they knew or should have known that the tree was vulnerable to falling. For example, if the tree was mostly dead, and thus likely to fall during one of the next storms, that property owner would have a duty to remove that risky tree. On the other hand, in cases where the risk is not reasonably foreseeable, the burden for the repairs will likely fall onto the insurance policy of the property owner who sustained the damages.
Could the Tree Damage Be Covered By Your Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Yes, fallen tree damage is covered by many Oklahoma homeowners’ property insurance policies. Of course, the answer to this question will always depend on the terms and conditions of your specific policy. You should review your policy, particularly the declarations page and the list of exclusions to make sure that you have coverage. Should you need to file a fallen tree damage claim against your property insurance policy, please keep the following four tips in mind:
- Report your damage as soon as possible;
- Take pictures and record video of the damage;
- Secure all available financial records; and
- Get an independent appraisal of the damage.
Finally, in the event that your claim is denied or underpaid, be ready to contact an Oklahoma property insurance lawyer. Your attorney will be able to assess your claim and help you take action to get the full settlement offer you are owed.
Contact Our Oklahoma City Property Insurance Attorneys Today
At The Bennett Law Firm, our Oklahoma storm damage attorneys have helped many property owners recover fair compensation for fallen tree damage. If your storm damage claim was denied, please do not hesitate to contact us now to get your free case review. From our office is located in Oklahoma City, we serve communities throughout Central Oklahoma, including in Logan County, Lincoln County, Canadian County and Cleveland County.