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What Determines Liability in a Construction Vehicle Accident?

Construction work is an inherently dangerous occupation. There are heavy equipment, heights, huge beams, and other obstacles. Accidents can happen, which is why employers invest in workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation, by its very nature, is a good thing, especially in a dangerous line of work. It provides security to both workers and employers. What happens, then, when a workplace accident is the result of someone’s negligence? In that case, it may be necessary to seek legal representation for your injury.

When injuries happen because of construction vehicles, who should be held responsible? Let’s look at this issue in more detail.

Construction Vehicle Accidents on the Road

No one should be using a construction vehicle as a mode of transportation. If they do, and they hurt someone, that driver is responsible for the injuries.

We often see these vehicles on the streets. Perhaps workers are repairing a sidewalk, requiring some heavy equipment. If you’re out walking your dog and get hurt by a construction vehicle, the liability likely rests on the site management. Workers should be setting up cones or caution tape around the worksite. If that isn’t an option, there must be someone monitoring traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian.

Construction Vehicle Accidents on the Job

The details of the accident will determine liability. To find fault, the entire situation must be deconstructed. You must look at where everyone was; who was in control of the vehicle; the condition of the vehicle; the vehicle’s chain of possession; and much more. This is why you need the help of a good lawyer. They can investigate all the specifics surrounding your case to determine who is responsible for your injury.

Manufacturer Fault

. The vehicle itself could have been defective. Vehicle recalls are serious in the U.S. Recalls happen only when a vehicle poses a safety threat to drivers and passengers. Regulated by the government, recalls make manufacturers keep a close eye on their products. Fines for hiding or lying about defects can cost companies fines of up to $11,000,000.

A good lawyer will help determine if the vehicle itself caused your injury. They can investigate the chain of manufacture, including identifying which parts came from which company. Comparing your equipment to others, they can determine if it had dangerous design flaws.

Employer Fault

Your employer could be the responsible party, even if they weren’t operating the vehicle. This happens when they mismanage their job sites. There are many possible ways this can happen.

Disorder

From the outside, construction sites look messy. On the site, however, order is top priority. A mismanaged site leads to messy work, and it creates danger for the workers. They need to produce an orderly, safe environment for their staff.

Who Operates the Machines

Only trained professionals should be operating construction vehicles. If untrained workers are operating dangerous equipment, accidents are bound to happen and it would be management’s fault.

Vehicle Upkeep

If you were hurt by the machine itself because it was worn down from use, the liability lies with the owner of the equipment.

The owner could be your employer. If the equipment was purchased, they are responsible for its upkeep. However, if it was rented, the chain of liability needs to be investigated.

A good lawyer has the knowledge and skill to track down the history of that vehicle and determine where the problem started. If the rental company knowingly rented out a flawed vehicle, that company is responsible.

Your lawyer will read through the rental agreements, searching for who is responsible for broken equipment.

Coworker Fault

Assuming the machines were in good shape,  management had a controlled worksite, and the right people were using the vehicles, but your coworker made a mistake, causing an injury.

Perhaps they weren’t paying attention, or they had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They might have been using the vehicle incorrectly. If your coworker caused the accident resulting in your injury, your employer may still be responsible under worker’s compensation.

No one wants to sue their employer, but if you’ve been hurt, medical bills are piling up, and you’re missing work, a good lawyer will help sort through the details and determine the best course of action.

If you’ve been hurt by a construction vehicle, we can help. We have years of experience recovering damages for our clients. For a free consultation, call (850) 764-0383 or contact us online.

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Contact The Pittman Firm, P.A. Today!

Hiring of a Florida injury lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. The firm will be happy to provide you with more information regarding Attorney Pittman’s qualifications and answer any questions you may have regarding your legal options.

Contact The Pittman Firm, P.A. now for the high-quality legal representation you need for your personal injury case.
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