A: In Pennsylvania, both commercial and residential property owners are required to take reasonable care of their property to protect others from a foreseeable risk of harm. That includes dangerous conditions of trees, shrubs, bushes, etc. which abut streets and roadways. If a tree, shrub or bush affects a driver’s ability to see the road clearly, the homeowner may be liable for contributing to the accident.
The key is proving notice. The homeowner or property owner must have had prior notice of the condition, or at the very least, there must be circumstances which demonstrate that the owner should have known about the problem before the accident occurred.
Notice can be actual or constructive. Actual notice is what it sounds like, written or verbal notice prior to the accident at issue. Constructive notice is established with circumstantial evidence. For example, failure to conduct any type of property maintenance including cutting back bushes and trees, etc. for several years could constitute constructive notice. Read more about property owner liability for causing a car accident in Pennsylvania.
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