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Understanding Who is Liable After You’re Hit by an Industrial Vehicle

Posted by Jim Miron | Nov 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

Connecticut drivers have enough to worry about when they take to the roadways. Between bad weather and intoxicated or distracted drivers, there's plenty of reason to remain vigilant on your morning commute into work or when you're heading to the grocery store on a Saturday morning.

While we can foresee most of the potential hazards we face when we get behind the wheel, we rarely consider the threat of industrial vehicles. Industrial vehicles are those heavy-duty vehicles used at construction sites, and some examples include:

  • Cranes
  • Forklifts
  • Bulldozers
  • Dump trucks
  • Concrete mixer trucks
  • Backhoes

While these vehicles are normally operated on or around construction sites, they do frequently traverse the roadways and are usually used for road work. While drivers of industrial vehicles and their employers owe a duty of care to the public's safety, they don't always abide by this duty. Although car-on-car collisions occur more frequently, the injuries and property damage sustained by motorists hit by an industrial vehicle are almost always more severe. Injured parties have a right to hold the negligent drivers and their employers responsible.

One of the bigger hurdles to overcome when attempting to financially recoup your expenses after such a traumatic experience is figuring out who is liable for the accident. In some cases, it may be the industrial vehicle driver, and in other cases, it could be the driver's employer.

When the Industrial Vehicle Driver is Liable

An industrial vehicle driver will be liable for the injury or death they caused under a limited set of circumstances. When seeking compensation after an accident, you must seek it from the appropriate parties. A failure to do so could result in a limited financial recovery, costly delays, and even possibly the dismissal of your case. It's always best to work with an experienced industrial vehicle wreck lawyer in Connecticut to avoid these setbacks.

In some cases it is possible that an industrial vehicle operator may be the only source of recovery if they:

  • Were acting outside the scope of their employment
  • Were under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Unfortunately, it is often more difficult to obtain compensation when the driver is solely at fault because it's less likely they'll have the financial resources or insurance coverage to cover the costs of the damage they caused. Fortunately, liability most often falls at least partially on their employer.

When the Driver's Employer is Liable

In most cases, the industrial vehicle driver's employer will be liable for damage, injury, or death caused by one of their industrial vehicle operators. Even when the driver operated the vehicle while intoxicated, it can be argued that the employer knew or should have known that the driver suffered from a substance abuse issue. Holding the employer liable for the harm caused by their driver is often the best route to financial recovery because the employer will be better situated to meet victim compensation needs.

Acts of negligence that shift liability to the employer include, but are not limited to:

  • Failing to ensure the industrial vehicle is in safe working order
  • Failing to post appropriate signage
  • Failing to hire adequately trained drivers/operators
  • Failing to drug test employees regularly
  • Failure to operate within the parameters of an industrial vehicle permit.

Negligence is usually the culprit behind industrial vehicle wrecks. Even though those responsible didn't intend to hurt anyone and claim the incident was an accident, they should still be held responsible for their choices. This accountability ensures victims are better able to recover financially, and it also is a deterrent and discourages shortcuts and oversights that can have devastating consequences.

Industrial Vehicle Crashes Can Change Your Life forever

Although industrial vehicles often move at a slower speed than other vehicles, the damage they can cause is catastrophic. This is due to their size and their irregular shape. Consider the sharp prongs on a forklift or the blade of a bulldozer. Industrial vehicles have more blind spots than most other vehicles on the road, and they can wreak havoc at even slow speeds.  Sometimes, how the industrial vehicle operates can even create an unsafe environment surrounding other motorists, as was the case when a driver was critically injured in a New Haven truck crash.

When you're hit by an industrial vehicle, you're going to suffer property damage and personal injury the majority of the time. You and your loved ones deserve to recoup the expenses associated with this accident, and while property damage may be a pretty straightforward assessment, recouping the cost of injuries or even death requires the help of an experienced attorney.

Common costs associated with the harm caused by industrial vehicle collisions may include:

  • Damage to your car or motorcycle
  • Damage to property inside your vehicle
  • Emergency medical care
  • Loss of income while you recover
  • Permanent loss of income
  • Ongoing physical rehabilitative care
  • Loss of life costs

Although industrial vehicle collisions happen in the blink of an eye, the immediate and ongoing expenses related to these terrible situations can endure for life. Sometimes, the full extent of the damage takes time to reveal itself. Those suffering through the immediate aftermath of their injuries may have difficulty focusing on the present, let alone the future implications of the collision.

An Experienced Connecticut Lawyer Can Help You After an Industrial Vehicle Collision

If you're hit by an industrial vehicle and suffer damage, injury, or death, you or your loved ones will have a difficult battle ahead. In the immediate days after the wreck, you'll be focused on your physical and emotional recovery, but your financial needs will soon become paramount. Juggling your needs after this level of trauma is overwhelming, and those who were negligent will leverage your vulnerability to protect themselves.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of hiring an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Jim Miron knows that you need an aggressive legal advocate who understands what you're going through. If you or someone you love has been injured or worse in a wreck involving an industrial vehicle in Connecticut, please contact Jim Miron today or call 203-339-5991 to schedule a free *consultation and case evaluation. Watch Meet Jim Miron to hear from Jim himself.

Offices are conveniently located in downtown Bridgeport. The office is easy to get to from anywhere in Connecticut as it is located close to I-95 and Route 8 and parking is free in our secure parking garage. Additionally, the office is also adjacent to the Bridgeport Transportation Center, which is serviced by the GBTA, Metro-North, and Amtrak. 

*Consultations are available via telephone, videoconference or in person. Our office follows all CDC and governmental regulations regarding COVID safety.

About the Author

Jim Miron is a website dedicated to informing people seriously injured due to the fault of another understand their rights and find an attorney that can help them in their time of need. This website is managed by Attorney Jim Miron, Managing Attorney at The Maddox Law Firm. LLC...


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