ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford area saw some severe weather on Friday, leading to property damages across the stateline.

Residents that have sustained that damage might be wondering if they can take legal action to help pay for those damages.

Damage caused by severe storms is often determined to be an “act of God,” according to Kellum Law Firm. The Nolo Law Dictionary defines this as “An extraordinary and unexpected natural event, such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, tsunami, or even the sudden death of a person.”

In simpler terms, this means that no one is to blame for these instances, as they are uncontrollable and not preventable. For example, a neighbor cannot be held liable in most cases if a tree on their property falls onto another person’s house.

However, there are instances where a neighbor would be liable for situations like this. A person must be able to prove that the neighbor was negligent in caring for the tree, which would create a dangerous situation. They might be held liable if this is the case.

Residents should consult with their attorney before taking legal action.