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LuckyGuy's avatar

Am I responsible for lawn damage to a home over 1/4 mile away (1/2 km) caused by a truck delivering construction materials to my house?

Asked by LuckyGuy (40977points) January 19th, 2021

I live on a relatively narrow dead end road. A large delivery truck just dropped off construction materials to my home. There is a turnaround near the end of the road to accommodate school buses and other delivery trucks but this one was big, really big, and it had a fork lift attached to the back.

After the delivery we watched the truck drive down the road and saw it attempt to use the turn-around. I’m guessing he had to drive on part of the neighbor’s lawn located in the Town right-of-way. Since everything is now snow covered and muddy he likely made quite a mess.

I will probably offer to fix it but I was wondering who should fix it.
Should I forget about it? Is it up to the neighbor to figure out who did the damage? Who is responsible?

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14 Answers

jca2's avatar

I’d say the truck’s insurance should fix it.

janbb's avatar

Morally, I would say you or the trucking company are responsible. Legally, the homeowner could probably go after the trucking company through their insurance. Which avenue they or you pursue is probably up to the damage and how much it will cost.

If you have a relationship with that neighbor, I would probably go over and talk to them about it.

zenvelo's avatar

You’re lucky, @LuckyGuy because you aren’t responsible for what the truck driver did.

You wouldn’t be responsible if the truck had done something on the thruway; you aren’t responsible for something the truck driver did down the street.

But I agree with @janbb that it might be good to go talk to the neighbor.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@janbb is right. If it was my neighbors and minimal, I’d just go fix it.

chyna's avatar

Last winter a lady came over for Christmas and when she left, she somehow missed my driveway and left a big ditch in my yard. I decided to wait until spring to fix it.
By spring, with the rain and snow, it had filled itself in an I didn’t have to do anything.
I realize what you are talking about is a much bigger, heavier piece of machinery. I think I would go talk to him and say you know it was workers that came to your home that did the damage, and that if it still needs attention in the spring, you will come over to help him even it out.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’d give your neighbor the name and number of the trucking company. They’re the ones responsible.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s the truckers fault, and I would call the company maybe and see what the owner offers if you think the trucker was overly sloppy regarding his actions.

If it’s minimal I might just be neighborly and offer to fix the damage, but I was thinking like @chyna that depending on what the mess was like I would wait as long as it isn’t a hazard. If you think it’s something someone could fall into or trip on and twist and ankle then it might need more immediate help.

It’s a toss up. You could even split it with the company who brought the materials from depending on their reaction. One time a homeowner accused our employee of dropping oil on the street. It’s very unlikely it was our guy. Mind you the asphalt street, but the guys driveway. We had it pressure washed. We lost any sort of profit that would have made on the original work we did, but we didn’t want the bad feelings or possible bad mouthing the client might do to other neighbors.

I guess the first step is to call your neighbor and say you noticed what happened.

Zaku's avatar

What the truck destroys accidentally is the truck driver’s responsibility, legally and morally. The employer and/or its insurance take on some of that contractually and/or by the employer’s policies about what the driver is required to try to do or not.

It’s utterly NOT LuckyGuy’s responsibility for asking someone to try to bring him something. If the driver encountered a difficulty along the route, it’s up to his perception, discernment, skill, judgement etc what to do about it.

LuckyGuy could choose to do something about it anyway, but that would be generosity on his part, not an obligation.

kritiper's avatar

No. The trucking company has insurance for that.

janbb's avatar

@Zaku is right, thinking about it. The trucking company is solely responsible. But to be neighborly, I would still go and talk to the neighbor about it and if they want to pursue it, give them the name and number of the trucking company.

Knowing you, if the damage is small and you would enjoy fixing it in the spring, you could decide to do that but if would be your own choice to make.

elbanditoroso's avatar

If you fix it, then it is implying responsibility, and if the homeowner is a real shithead, he could take you to court based on that implication.

Have him take it up with the trucking company.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I drove down there and took a look. I’m just going to fix it in the spring. I already have everything I need: top soil, seed, lawn roller.
It won’t take long and it’s the neighborly thing to do.
Thanks for the input.

janbb's avatar

^^ I know you so well!

doyendroll's avatar

This is a clear case of cul-de-sacré bleu as the truck driver would know who provided the name and address.

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