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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Liability in a Construction Vehicle Accident

Fault is sometimes easy to determine in personal injury. If you were minding your own business and suddenly hit by a motorcycle, it is most likely the fault of the rider. Questions of responsibility become less clear if you’ve been hurt by a construction vehicle. In that case, liability will be completely dependent upon the details of your accident.

You Were Injured on the Road

Construction vehicles should never be used as a mode of transportation. They sometimes need to be driven a short distance to move to their next location, but no one should be using one to idly drive along the street. If someone does, they are breaking the law, and if you are injured by their actions, they will almost certainly be the party held responsible.

We do, however, sometimes see construction vehicles on the roads, particularly when work is being done in a residential area. If someone is hurt by a construction vehicle on a public street, that is most likely the fault of the management. The driver bears some responsibility, but citizens should not be able to get close to these vehicles in the first place. Management should have an orderly site with cones, taped-off areas, and so forth. Workers should be on alert, redirecting both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

You Were Injured on the Job

The Machine Itself Hurt You

When you have used a product correctly and you are still injured, you may have been the victim of a defective product. Defective products come in three categories. The first is a manufacturer error, where some part of the item was built incorrectly, causing an injury. The second is a design defect, where the product was made correctly, but its very design is unsafe. The final category is an improperly labeled product, where the manufacturer failed to warn the consumer of potential dangers in using their product.

Perhaps the machine itself injured you not from a defect, but from poor upkeep. Whoever owns or controls the vehicles is responsible for keeping them safe and operational. Chains of ownership become murky when it comes to a construction vehicle. If your employer rented the vehicle, who is responsible for its upkeep? The rental company may put the responsibility on management, but management may put it back on the renter. This is where your lawyer’s skills come in. They can thoroughly investigate the rental agreement, deciphering who is liable for the vehicle and, therefore, your injuries.

Another Coworker Hurt You

Anyone who works in construction knows how important order is on the job. When everyone is in their designated workspace, there will be fewer people crisscrossing around, potentially causing danger. If your injury was the result of a mismanaged space, where vehicles and workers were haphazardly walking about, this is the fault of management. You can sue them for their negligence in keeping their environment safe.

Similarly, management has an obligation to ensure that the proper people are placed on the proper machines. If management cuts corners by putting untrained workers on dangerous vehicles, accidents are bound to happen. When your injuries are the result of a new worker misusing a machine, that is not the fault of the worker. That is the fault of management, who should have taken time to ensure the worker was trained and ready to use the equipment.

If everyone was doing their job properly and the site was well managed, you may have to accept the fact that a coworker was at fault. They might not have been looking where they were going, or maybe they were drowsy from medicine. No one wants to sue a fellow worker, but if you’ve been hurt on the job, you may not have another option. Even with workers’ compensation, bills can start piling up, and you can lose income from missed work. Whatever the case, a good lawyer will help you seek a solution that is fair to both you and the worker who harmed you.

If you were injured by a construction vehicle, we can help. We have the talent and experience to investigate your case and help hold responsible parties accountable. Our number is (505) 219-2176, and you can contact us online.