A Barricade to Liability

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Q: My wife was riding her bicycle on the parking lane of a street.  Unfortunately, a construction barricade had fallen over.  Although my wife attempted to turn her bicycle to avoid the barricade, she lost control and collided with a passing vehicle.  That’s what the witnesses tell me.

A: Most likely, you will sue the owner of the property that was under construction, the general contractor for the construction project, and at least one subcontractor. The defendants will make such arguments as: (1) we owed no duty of care to your wife because the accident occurred in a street, and not on our property; (2) we did not create or have notice of the fallen barricade; and (3) the accident was caused by your wife’s negligent operation of her bicycle, and not by the fallen barricade.

With regard to the first of these arguments, your lawyer will want to know whether the owner, or the general contractor, had a permit to use a portion of the street to store construction material.  If so, that alone is a powerful indication that the defendants had a duty to maintain the parking lane in a reasonably safe condition.

With regard to the second argument, your lawyer will need to gather all the evidence – by means of depositions, document requests and other discovery devices, and other resources such as the internet.  With regard to the third, it is the defendants who will be searching for evidence.

The elements of negligence are a duty owed to you, a breach of that duty, and injury proximately resulting from that breach.  This sounds like a winning case in all three respects.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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