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When trees fall, like in Friday's storms, who pays for the damage?

Two dead trees fell from a vacant lot onto a woman's roof, and now it's time to figure out the extent of damage -- and its cost.

SPRING HILL, Fla. — Serious flooding was a concern during Friday's storms, but high winds became the most destructive impact.

One woman now is worried about how to pay for damage after two dead trees fell from a vacant lot onto her roof.

"When it hit the house, the whole house shook. I mean, it just shook,” Maureen Sass said.

Sass said she is on a fixed income due to age and physical ailments, so money is tight, and emergencies are tough to afford. She hopes property records can help track down the owner of the empty lot where the trees once stood.

"Maybe they can at least help me find out how I can get in touch with this property owner over here or the people who are building a new house over here to see if they will pay for this damage," she said.

According to Williams Law P.A. in Tampa, when a neighbor's tree falls on your home, they aren't usually liable unless you can prove negligence by showing the tree was rotting and going to fall anyway.

"They were dead pine trees,” said Randy Winstead of A and R Tree Service. "There is some roof damage up there where the plywoods broke."

Winstead said if you’re concerned about neighboring trees falling onto your property, look at the trees that could hit your home or electrical wires. If they're rotten, diseased or cracked, tell your neighbor immediately.

"At that point, it's on them,” he said. “They're responsible to take care of that if they're made aware. But we're talking about sending a certified letter or something like that."

Fortunately, Sass does have insurance. She said the adjuster will be out to survey the damage.

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