Hit fallen tree

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So I was driving home tonight after some bad in the early evening.  I leave work at 10pm.  I travel small 2 lane roads to get home.  On my way home it was a bit rainy.  On one road a car was headed toward me so visibility was minimal with the headlight glare.  When all of a sudden I come upon a fallen trees branches sticking into my lane.  I swerved as much as I could and the branches broke my antenna and hit my A-Pillar which doesnt look damaged.  I notified the police afterwards to make sure they were aware of these branches/tree so no one actually really hit it.  My car only has liability insurance, can I sue the property owner to get the cost of replacing my antenna covered?  Since the tree came from someones property? 

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I wish the tree had rolled downhill. That would have been more interesting.

beatme (Aug. 02, 2016 @ 9:05a) |

Just a fun story here...

When I was a kid we were driving on a two lane highway which was both curvy and hilly.  We sudde... (more)

brooke789 (Aug. 02, 2016 @ 9:55a) |

It's worse.

jagec (Aug. 02, 2016 @ 10:33a) |

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Short answer that will very quickly be over taken by 500+ word posts: No.

I think the property owner is somewhat liable..

Someone start a go fund me page so we can raise 12 dollars for a new antenna.

cougarman said:   I think the property owner is somewhat liable..
  For you hitting a stationary object in the road because you were illegally driving too fast (based on safe speed with the rainy/low visibility)?  It's your own fault you were driving too fast to be able to slow down in time.  Swerving's also generally a very bad and dangerous idea, unless these "branches" were 2' diameter logs.

kilacam19 said:   Someone start a go fund me page so we can raise 12 dollars for a new antenna.
  Its the principle.   I can most likely get a new antenna for free.  But I still have to take my valuable time to install it.  Also the actual mount screws ripped from the fender.

Bend3r said:   
cougarman said:   I think the property owner is somewhat liable..
  For you hitting a stationary object in the road because you were illegally driving too fast (based on safe speed with the rainy/low visibility)?  It's your own fault you were driving too fast to be able to slow down in time.  Swerving's also generally a very bad and dangerous idea, unless these "branches" were 2' diameter logs.

  I never stated that I was speeding.  Pretty reckless assumption.  Speed limit on the road was 40.  I was doing well under that since the other cars headlights glare pretty much made visibility nill.  When I saw the branches it looked like they were cut by someone.  Since they had bright ends on them as opposed to the dull color of the branch itself.  However whoever cut them didn't cut them back far enough and they were still in the lane.  There were 2 branches about 4 inch diameter.  Still didnt want it cracking my windshield.

You can sue anyone you want but it'll cost you almost the cost of the antenna to try and you're unlikely to succeed. The presence of felled branches in a road the same evening they were probably felled is unlikely to suggest negligence.

Wow, this one's developing quickly. It is rough when they're branches, since they're almost the same color as the road, but if visibility was "almost nil" the speed limit that wouldn't potentially get you a "too fast for conditions" ticket would ALSO be "almost nil." Posted limit is irrelevant in less-than-perfect conditions.

Brighter tips don't mean they were cut. That was either the side of the branch that broke off the tree or the side somebody else already hit and broke off to that point.

cougarman said:   Bend3r said:   
cougarman said:   I think the property owner is somewhat liable..
  For you hitting a stationary object in the road because you were illegally driving too fast (based on safe speed with the rainy/low visibility)?  It's your own fault you were driving too fast to be able to slow down in time.  Swerving's also generally a very bad and dangerous idea, unless these "branches" were 2' diameter logs.

  I never stated that I was speeding.  Pretty reckless assumption.  Speed limit on the road was 40.  I was doing well under that since the other cars headlights glare pretty much made visibility nill.  When I saw the branches it looked like they were cut by someone.  Since they had bright ends on them as opposed to the dull color of the branch itself.  However whoever cut them didn't cut them back far enough and they were still in the lane.  There were 2 branches about 4 inch diameter.  Still didnt want it cracking my windshield.


The speed limit has nothing to do with the legal speed during dangerous conditions. If you were going fast enough that you couldn't see the branch until it was practically too late, then you were going too fast, legally speaking. You probably deserve a ticket.

You are not going to get the answer you're looking for here, because you're wrong. Please understand. You're wrong.

cougarman said:   
kilacam19 said:   Someone start a go fund me page so we can raise 12 dollars for a new antenna.
  Its the principle.   I can most likely get a new antenna for free.  But I still have to take my valuable time to install it.  Also the actual mount screws ripped from the fender.

  Compared to your valuable time:
1) posting here
2) finding out who "owns" the tree
3) filing the paperwork for a lawsuit
4) showing up in court

Cut your losses and move on. Things happen. If it was a bigger concern, you'd have more insurance on your car.
 

Got excited about a tree branch thread but it was downhill from there.

cougarman said:   
Bend3r said:   
cougarman said:   I think the property owner is somewhat liable..
  For you hitting a stationary object in the road because you were illegally driving too fast (based on safe speed with the rainy/low visibility)?  It's your own fault you were driving too fast to be able to slow down in time.  Swerving's also generally a very bad and dangerous idea, unless these "branches" were 2' diameter logs.
 

  I never stated that I was speeding.  Pretty reckless assumption.  Speed limit on the road was 40.  I was doing well under that since the other cars headlights glare pretty much made visibility nill.  When I saw the branches it looked like they were cut by someone.  Since they had bright ends on them as opposed to the dull color of the branch itself.  However whoever cut them didn't cut them back far enough and they were still in the lane.  There were 2 branches about 4 inch diameter.  Still didnt want it cracking my windshield.

  
I highlighted the part you overlooked in Bend3r's post. You might very well have been driving below the 40 mph speed limit. But were you driving at a safe enough speed for the weather conditions you were experiencing? You stated it was rainy out and that "visibility was minimal", in those conditions, you are expected to reduce your speed to compensate for the conditions. For example: "But, officer, I was driving the speed limit" isn't a defense when you skid on a snow-covered road and ram another object. You have an obligation to adjust your speed to compensate for wet roads and reduced visibility, so you are able to stop in time when you see an obstacle in your path. Apparently, you failed to do that. If you try to sue the property owner, you might have a hard time proving liability on their part. As others said, move on.

cougarman said:     Its the principle.   I can most likely get a new antenna for free
  You gonna go down to the local WalMart and survey the parking lot? Good luck, not many 1975 Pintos left on the road.

OP if you have time to waste, you can always troll the owner in small claims.

rufflesinc said:   OP if you have time to waste, you can always troll the owner in small claims.
  Well, until the judge labels OP a vexatious litigant like that Zavodnik guy

#trollsgonnatroll

alamo11 said:   
rufflesinc said:   OP if you have time to waste, you can always troll the owner in small claims.
  Well, until the judge labels OP a vexatious litigant like that Zavodnik guy

  only if OP repeatedly drives into tree branches

I can most likely figure out who owns the tree to sue them. However I was able to replace the mast and I had to pull a dent out of my fender. Since the antenna mount pushed into it. We had a couple of old junk vehicles that were going to the scrap yard in which I found a mast and a mount cover that sort of worked.

Wonderful news. So glad it worked out for you. Thanks for posting. (sarcasm)

If you are going to ignore all of the correct responses in this thread hoping that someone agrees with you, it probably won't happen. You will not be able to prove any negligence by the property owner and you were driving too fast for conditions anyways. Move on.

Why stop at a lawsuit? Putting a tree in the road when conditions are that bad is akin to a Road-side IED. Report him to the NSA for terrorism.

I know you said you don't have collision/comp coverage on your own vehicle, but from an insurance perspective this is, as several people have stated above, a case of "driving too fast for conditions" or "insufficient attention while driving" scenario regardless of how fast you might have actually been driving, because the object you hit was stationary.  If you had insurance, they would pay for it but consider you at fault.  FWIW I think that it's unlikely that pursuing this through a lawsuit will be a good use of your time.

I am glad you're okay.  Worst things could have happened, physically and financially.  Let's not take that for granted.

cougarman said:   I can most likely figure out who owns the tree to sue them. However I was able to replace the mast and I had to pull a dent out of my fender. Since the antenna mount pushed into it. We had a couple of old junk vehicles that were going to the scrap yard in which I found a mast and a mount cover that sort of worked.
From Washington Post:
"...What if your tree falls on a public roadway? According to a recent Supreme Court case in Virginia, a landowner does not have a duty to inspect and cut down sickly trees that have the possibility of falling on a public roadway and inflicting injury. This is the duty of the local government to periodically inspect to assure the safety of the public. This is also the law in the District, where the high court made it clear that government must exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of well traveled thoroughfares..."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/whos-responsible-when-...
 

svap said:   
cougarman said:   I can most likely figure out who owns the tree to sue them. However I was able to replace the mast and I had to pull a dent out of my fender. Since the antenna mount pushed into it. We had a couple of old junk vehicles that were going to the scrap yard in which I found a mast and a mount cover that sort of worked.
From Washington Post:
"...What if your tree falls on a public roadway? According to a recent Supreme Court case in Virginia, a landowner does not have a duty to inspect and cut down sickly trees that have the possibility of falling on a public roadway and inflicting injury. This is the duty of the local government to periodically inspect to assure the safety of the public. This is also the law in the District, where the high court made it clear that government must exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of well traveled thoroughfares..."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/whos-responsible-when-a-tree-falls/2012/11/02/feece3d6-21c7-11e2-8448-81b1ce7d6978_story.html
 

  ...so what you're advising is that he sue the local government!

cougarman said:   So I was driving home tonight after some bad in the early evening.  
  
Is bad similar to strange? 

cougarman said:   I can most likely figure out who owns the tree to sue them. However I was able to replace the mast and I had to pull a dent out of my fender. Since the antenna mount pushed into it. We had a couple of old junk vehicles that were going to the scrap yard in which I found a mast and a mount cover that sort of worked.
God owns the tree. Good luck with your lawsuit.

scrouds said:   
cougarman said:   I can most likely figure out who owns the tree to sue them. However I was able to replace the mast and I had to pull a dent out of my fender. Since the antenna mount pushed into it. We had a couple of old junk vehicles that were going to the scrap yard in which I found a mast and a mount cover that sort of worked.
God owns the tree. Good luck with your lawsuit.

  Filing the lawsuit is the easy part... it's serving the defendant with the summons that will be the tricky part.

Crazytree said:   
scrouds said:   
cougarman said:   I can most likely figure out who owns the tree to sue them. However I was able to replace the mast and I had to pull a dent out of my fender. Since the antenna mount pushed into it. We had a couple of old junk vehicles that were going to the scrap yard in which I found a mast and a mount cover that sort of worked.
God owns the tree. Good luck with your lawsuit.

  Filing the lawsuit is the easy part... it's serving the defendant with the summons that will be the tricky part.

  
No kidding, first you have to find a virtuous lawyer.  

Then you have to send him/her.  (then you need ANOTHER lawyer to defend your murder trial...)

In theory you can always just go to the local church and pray, but proof of service is a bit tricky...

RedWolfe01 said:   
Crazytree said:   
scrouds said:   
cougarman said:   I can most likely figure out who owns the tree to sue them. However I was able to replace the mast and I had to pull a dent out of my fender. Since the antenna mount pushed into it. We had a couple of old junk vehicles that were going to the scrap yard in which I found a mast and a mount cover that sort of worked.
God owns the tree. Good luck with your lawsuit.

  Filing the lawsuit is the easy part... it's serving the defendant with the summons that will be the tricky part.

  
No kidding, first you have to find a virtuous lawyer.  

Then you have to send him/her.  (then you need ANOTHER lawyer to defend your murder trial...)

In theory you can always just go to the local church and pray, but proof of service is a bit tricky...

  Find Keannu Reeves

even the tree topics have gone downhill

Tree lives matter!

oppidum said:   even the tree topics have gone downhill
  I wish the tree had rolled downhill. That would have been more interesting.

Just a fun story here...

When I was a kid we were driving on a two lane highway which was both curvy and hilly.  We suddenly came upon a downed tree crossing the whole road.  I was sitting in the front passenger seat of our Chevy Malibu (late 70s/early 80s model).  My Mom threw out the Mom arm.  Her Diet Pepsi flew into the windshield and we were all fine.  She told the story for years about the time "we climbed a tree with the car".  I don't know that today's cars would have made out quite the same!

pietromoon said:   
cougarman said:   So I was driving home tonight after some bad in the early evening.  
  
Is bad similar to strange? 

It's worse.



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