If a neighbor's actions result in the death of your valuable tree, you have the right to seek compensation for the loss of the tree. Here are some of the specific damages for which you may seek compensation:
Cost of Removal and Cleanup
Removing a tree isn't cheap; it can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. The exact cause depends on different factors, such the size of the tree, how weak the tree is, and how accessible the removal site is, among other things. After removing the tree, you also have to spend some money to get rid of the debris and clean up the site; this cost may not be included in the removal expenses.
Cost of Replacing the Tree
If your beautiful front yard tree has been carelessly killed by a neighbor, you will probably be looking to replace it as soon as possible. This involves getting a seedling, preparing the planting site, and taking care of the tree (watering, trimming, and fertilizing) until it becomes comparable to the removed tree. The person who caused your tree to die should be responsible for these costs too.
Costs Spent in Trying to Save the Tree
The damaging activities that your neighbor is likely to engage in may not kill your tree instantly. For example, if your neighbor has dug deep trenches that have interfered with your tree's root, it may take some time for the tree to dry. This means you are likely to spend some money in trying to save the tree; for example you could try mulching it or fertilizing it. Your neighbor should cater for these costs too if, despite your best efforts, the tree ends up dying.
Diminished Property Value
Depending on the species and size of the tree you have lost, you may also experience a considerable reduction of your property's value. Maybe you had a big oak in your backyard that was the envy of your neighborhood, and you knew it would boost your home's price if you ever considered selling your house. If such a tree is negligently damaged by a neighbor, they should compensate you for the diminished value whether or not you are planning to sell the house.
Lastly, your neighbor should also compensate you for out-of-pocket expenses connected to the death of the tree. Such expenses include the cost of phone calls to tree removal companies and wages lost when dealing with the removal of the tree, among others.
For more information, talk toreal estate attorney services in your area.