Who Bears Responsibility for Construction Vehicle Accidents?

| Aug 7, 2020 | Construction Law

Construction sites can be chaotic, loud, and dangerous, and they often involve massive, powerful construction vehicles. As such, there is a potential for accidents to happen. When they do, numerous parties can be exposed to legal claims, including construction companies.

If someone brings a claim against you after an accident, it can be crucial to secure legal representation to defend yourself and your business.

Potential defenses

In many construction vehicle accident claims, construction companies face allegations of negligence. Per California negligence laws, possible defenses against these claims can include proving the following:

  1. You were not negligent. To be negligent, a party must fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent injuries to others. If you took the necessary steps to prevent accidents, or if the event was not foreseeable, then you may not be negligent.
  2. The injured party caused the accident. If the injured party was trespassing on a construction site, violating safety measures, or acting recklessly, then he or she can be responsible for their own injuries.
  3. There is no link between your actions and a person’s injuries. Even if an accident involved your construction vehicle, you might not be liable for damages if there is no connection between the injuries and your activity.

Determining liability after an accident

If your company did play a role in an accident, you may not be entirely liable for all damages that someone experiences.

In California, negligent parties are responsible for damages in proportion to their contribution, and multiple parties can be negligent in an accident. In other words, identifying other parties who were also negligent can reduce your contribution to the accident and the amount you may need to pay by spreading an award across negligent parties.

Considering how many parties can be involved in a construction vehicle accident claim and the amount of money that is at stake, it is crucial to be aggressive in your defense against these claims. Whether your defense involves denying the assertions altogether or claiming comparative negligence, having legal guidance in these matters will be critical.