I'm guessing you don't have damage coverage on your auto insurance. Otherwise, you could have your insurance company pay for the repairs.
You can certainly go to small claims court.
But your chances of winning are not real good.
I handled many tree fall claims just like this.
The apartment complex may not be responsible under the conditions you describe.
For the apartment complex to be responsible you would have to prove that the tree WAS unsafe (not that you just think it was unsafe), that they had been notified of, or should have known about, the condition, and that they failed to do anything about it.
And, no, they don't have to give you their paperwork but you can certainly subpoena it once you have filed the lawsuit.
One thing that might help you is the weather for Dec in San Diego:
Did this happen on the 27th when winds gusted at 40 mph. If so, a 40 mph gust might not have been enough to topple a tree unless there was significant root and trunk deterioration.
Trouble with that: Root rot and trunk deterioration typically occur from the inside and are not observable from the outside so you would have difficulty proving knowledge of the defect.
On the other hand, if above ground roots did not properly support the tree, you might have something but you would probably need an arborist to testify in court for you.
And it's also possible that lightning hit the tree and then you have no case at all.
Did you, or anybody else, photograph the tree after it came down? That would certainly be helpful.
By the way, having or not having a police report is irrelevant.
Your chances are slim but I'd still go for it. All you have to lose is your filing and process service fees and a little time.
It's always possible that, once they receive the lawsuit, the apartment owner or his insurance company might settle to avoid the cost of going to court.
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- to keep and bear arms,
- shall not be infringed.